A hot topic recently - something we have seen discussed and presented on at a number of landlord events across Scotland over the past year - has been that of energy performance. We've rounded up some key points from the Scottish Government and advice service Home Energy Scotland that might help in your efforts to ensure that tenancies run smoothly.

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on proposals to improve the energy efficiency and condition standards of privately rented housing in Scotland. Initially minimum energy efficiency standards will be introduced under Section 55 of the Energy Act 2011, and will require landlords of privately rented homes to ensure their properties achieve EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Band E from 1st April 2020 at a change of tenancy, and then EPC Band D from 1st April 2022 at a change of tenancy. The energy efficiency rating scale goes from Band A (being very energy efficient) to Band G (being not energy efficient).

The consultation seeks views on the proposed standards and the means by which they will be introduced in advance of formal parliamentary consideration of the Regulations to follow later this year. The consultation also seeks views on the nature of the guidance to support the Regulations to ensure that users are confident that sufficient information is available to them to begin the implementation of the standards required. The consultation closes on 13th September this year. Click on the link in the paragraph above to view the consultation, where you can also give your views to the Scottish Government.

Home Energy Scotland is a network of local advice centres covering all of Scotland, offering free, impartial advice on a number of matters including energy saving. Their mission is to help people in Scotland create warmer homes, reduce their bills and help tackle climate change. On their website they neatly summarise the benefits to all parties of making your property more energy efficient: improved energy efficiency can add value, make your property more attractive to new tenants, lead to lower turnover of tenancies and reduce potential problems like damp. From the tenant's point of view, a more energy efficient home could lead to lower energy bills (reducing the risk of fuel poverty) and - quite simply - make them warmer.

Check out Home Energy Scotland's website for information on the support they offer for private landlords, including free advice and property assessments.