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Latest news and insights

Immigration changes – The impact on rural businesses

Fraser Vandal discusses changes to the UK's work visa rules and how these changes will impact rural businesses.

Long awaited Housing Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

The long- awaited Housing (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 26 March 2024.

Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced March 2024

An overview of the content in Part 1 & 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament on 13 March 2024.

Latest news and insights

13 May 2024 | Time to read: 5 mins

Immigration changes – The impact on rural businesses

By Fraser Vandal

Fraser Vandal discusses changes to the UK's work visa rules and how these changes will impact rural businesses.

13 May 2024 | Time to read: 5 mins

Long awaited Housing Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament

By Stephen Gamba

The long- awaited Housing (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 26 March 2024.

05 April 2024 | Time to read: 3 mins

Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced March 2024

By Robert Scott-Dempster

An overview of the content in Part 1 & 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill introduced to Parliament on 13 March 2024.

05 April 2024 | Time to read: 3 mins

Gillespie Macandrew announced as Great Glen 2024 sponsor

By Lois Newton

Gillespie Macandrew is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the RSABI Great Glen Challenge 2024.

Raising the Bar for Farmhouses: Repairing Standard and EPC’s

Published: 24 October 2022
Time to read: 2 mins

Currently housing within agricultural tenancies are required to meet the “tolerable standard” however, from 28 March 2027 it will be necessary for agricultural housing to meet the repairing standard.  This excludes holiday lets for less than 31 days, although includes employee-occupied agricultural houses.

Current obligations under the tolerable standard are basic. The standard requires the property to be structurally stable with sufficient ventilation as well as light and contain no issues with rising or penetrating damp.  It must have an acceptable fresh water supply, drainage and sewerage system, along with a sink supplying hot and cold water, an indoor toilet, bath or shower also with hot and cold water. Furthermore, it must have a suitable entrance, an electricity supply meeting safety regulations and cooking facilities.

Additionally, from 1 February 2022 the Landlord must ensure hard wired, interlinked smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are present.

In contrast, the “repairing standard” requires a pre-tenancy check and notification to tenants of any work required.  Landlords thereafter have a duty to repair and maintain throughout the tenancy with a requirement to complete work within reasonable timescales.  Properties must be:

  • Wind and watertight with their structure and exterior in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • Water, gas, electricity, sanitation, heating and hot water installations in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • Fixtures, fittings and appliances provided by the Landlord must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
  • Furnishings provided by the Landlord must be capable of being used safely for the purpose for which they are designed

Running parallel to this is the ticking clock for Energy Performance Certificates (EPC).  Currently residential properties sublet by agricultural tenants are required to have an EPC in place.  From 2027 it will be necessary for farmhouses occupied by tenant farmers to also have an EPC.   As yet, it is not clear what the minimum standard will be, although the Government’s stated aim is to improve the condition of housing stock and it seems likely that many properties will need work to meet whatever the minimum standard is set at.

Landlords should therefore consider the statutory requirements now in the lead up to 2027, so that they are well placed to meet the repairing standard when implemented and professional advice should be sought if required.

*This article featured in the November edition of Farming Leader.

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