Dear all,

Last week I mentioned how I felt that November had gone by in a flash and I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear that i wasn’t alone and quite a few people felt the same.Time does seem to be very relative at the moment, always precious, but passing in a different way.  i always remember being told that as you get older the days pass slowly, but the years pass so quickly.  Even though we have all had a shared pandemic experience, and our interpretations and experiences are all vastly different, does it seem as though it has only been a year?

I was reading that the tiger king, Joe Exotic may receive a Presidential pardon and I admit in April during lockdown I did binge watch it, funny how things come around again.

Not just television, my son is singing the Rick Astley song “Never going to give you up” at the school virtual talent show this year.  Apparently, Rick Astley is very popular with the pre teens, not sure why, and I wont seem like the “old fogie” Colin often calls me and comment on the lack of good music in the charts.

Weak link to go into the topic of Energy Performance Certificates I know, but it does seem to be back in the Scottish Government plan for 2021.

The Scottish Government has advised the Scottish Association of Landlords that it plans to have minimum EPC regulations (which were postponed due to covid) re-laid before parliament in the spring to come into force on 1 April 2021. The regulations will be amended to remove the “E” standard and require private rented sector properties in Scotland to achieve at least:

  • EPC of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022 (giving landlords a year to comply from the date the regulations come into force)
  • All rental properties must have an EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025

The regulations will provide for some exemptions, including where:

  • It is not technically feasible to carry out improvements
  • Where other owners in a block of flats refuse consent to do work to common parts of the building
  • Where tenants refuse consent for work
  • Where permission to carry out work to a property which is listed or in a conservation area can’t be obtained
  • Where the cost of improvements needed exceeds £10000

Landlords will only be required to carry out work where the cost of purchasing and installing it can be financed by means of funding provided by a grant or loan from Scottish Ministers. The government has set up the Private Rented Sector Landlord Loan which is interest free for those with five or fewer properties or at an interest rate of 3.5% for those with larger portfolios.

Details of the loan and other funding available to landlords for energy efficiency work can be read here.

Local authorities are expected to be responsible for enforcing the standard. Fines could be levied on those owners who don’t comply with the minimum standard or provide false or misleading information on the exemptions register.

The government plans to publish detailed guidance on the requirement in the spring. 

For guidance on EPCs and improving your EPC rating SALs factsheet is attached. Please note that the EPC recommendations report is NOT a reliable tool to use to work out what improvements to do to get to a particular EPC rating. Landlords should seek further advice before installing measures to ensure that they are suitable for their particular property and find out what the likely impact on the EPC rating will be. EPC providers can model your property with different improvement measures and tell you what the effect on the rating will be, before you spend any money on improvement works.

Covid lease agreement
There have been several amendments to the Private Rented Tenancy agreement since March 2020.  I have been asked if tenants on the pre covid PRT still have the same notice and time scales as the new PRT.  The answer is yes, the statue overrides contract, the law of the land overrules the notice in the lease agreement.
The notice period for landlords is at least 6 months with the exeption of abandonment or antisocial behavour which is 28 days notice.

Covid-19 restrictions

With some areas of Scotland now subject to level 4 restrictions, the Scottish Government has provided guidance on what this means for landlords and letting agents operating in those areas. The guidance they have provided is as follows:
Offices – businesses can remain open but working from home should be the default.

Home moves and viewings – people can move home in all protection levels, and to and from areas with different levels. In level 4 areas it is advisable to postpone viewings of properties and delay home moves, where this is possible.

Repairs & maintenance – tradespeople, although permitted to work in other people’s homes, should only carry out urgent repairs and maintenance or work to facilitate a home move.

Safety checks – these should continue to take place to obtain safety certificates.

Property inspections – routine inspections are not essential and should be postponed until the area is removed from level 4 restrictions.

Kindest Regards

Michelle O’Donnell

Branch Manager

17 Elmbank Street


G2 4PB

0141 221 3990


Registration number LARN1903009

VAT : 174415411


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