The following standards relate to housing quality and the energy efficiency of homes.
Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing
The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland. The Scottish Government brought EESSH into force in March 2014. The EESSH builds on the previous Scottish Housing Quality Standard which ran from 2004 to 2015. All social landlords will be expected to achieve the EESSH by 2020.
The EESSH sets a single minimum energy efficiency rating for landlords to achieve that varies dependent upon the dwelling type and the fuel type used to heat it. It will mean that in the main no social property will be lower than a 'C' or 'D' energy efficiency rating, meaning that tenants should benefit from a warmer home, which could mean lower fuel consumption, lower energy bills and fewer tenants in fuel poverty.
The Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector homes
The Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector homes (REEPS) is a proposed standard, as recommended by the Sustainable Housing Strategy 2013. A working group was set up in 2013 to look at issues in this area and to draft a consultation. As of 18 September 2015, this consultation has been delayed due to the increased uncertainty around support for household energy efficiency by the UK Government. The Scottish Government has said it will take forward the consultation in the 2016 – 2017 Parliamentary session.
EAS published a briefing on REEPS The Regulation of Energy Efficiency in Private Sector Homes (REEPS)
A research project was carried out to support the work of the REEPS Working Group. The research was entitled: “Developing regulation of energy efficiency of private sector housing (REEPS): modelling improvements to the target stock".
The following outputs from the research were published in November 2015:
Research Summary - presents the main findings from the 2014-15 research undertaken by Ipsos MORI and Alembic Research.
Main Research Report - describes how the least energy efficient dwellings in the private sector were identified and how their ratings could be improved by a range of improvement measures.
355 Modelled Archetypes - Modelling of energy efficiency improvements was carried out on 355 different archetypes, representing the least energy efficient dwellings in the private sector.
Building standards in Scotland are controlled by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and subsequent secondary legislation. Technical Handbooks are issued which incorporate new changes made by regulation.
For more detailed guidance and information, please refer to the Building Standards Office in the Scottish Government.
The Repairing Standard (contained in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006) covers the legal and contractual obligations of private landlords to ensure that a property meets a minimum physical standard. It includes the requirement that installations for supplying water, gas and electricity and for sanitation, space heating and heating water must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.
Tenants who cannot agree with their landlord about whether or not the standard is being met can take their case to the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) which can also be contacted on tel: 0141 302 5900. The PRHP states that it can help Scottish tenants and landlords resolve their differences and can help tenants get landlords to do necessary repairs.