Unsuitable Curtains for Winter


Does anyone else have any problems with landlords refusing to install curtains which are suitable for keeping a property warm in the winter? I am not sure if there is any legal requirements around it but my living room (big bay window in a tenement block in Edinburgh) has no closable curtains, in that the rail does not support the style of curtains and thus, they cannot be drawn. Closing the curtains in other rooms makes a significant difference in keeping the heat in.

Wanted to see if I just have an unreasonable landlord or If this is a widespread issue.


Hi Craig, welcome to the forum. Was there anything attached to the rail when you moved in?


Yeah there is a set of very thin curtains attached the rail but due to the style (they are the style which requires a pole and the rail is not designed for this) they cannot move and be drawn.


Ah okay - the legislation does talk about fixtures & fittings - I’d need to take a look at the exact wording though - is there heating in the property - or is it also to block out noise and light?


There is one electric radiator for the room which I would describe as ‘barely sufficient’ to heat the room. Mainly, it’s to provide a passive way to keep heat in during the evening so that the property is not as expensive to heat.


Have you ever heard of Home Energy Scotland? They provide advice on things like energy efficiency, how to keep properties warm, and some times have grants and things to help out. I could ping you a number for them?Have you been renting long Craig?


I thought they only provided things for Landlords to improve efficiency not tenants? A number would be grand and I can always see what they have to say.

Since June 2015 on my own in the private sector, previously through a Housing Association while living with my mum.


No they also support tenants. There is a scheme called Warmer Homes Scotland (I think!) that they help to administer so should be able to talk to you about it. Can you remember if you were given an Energy Performance Certificate when you moved in Craig?


Yeah we did! I think it was a D but I would have to check. I remember that it was from 2009 though way before this property got double glazing!


Hi Craig, here is the number for Home Energy Scotland (0808 808 2282). I think it may be useful to give them a call. Although private landlords need to make sure that the property meets the repairing standard - which includes making sure that heating and hot water is in reasonable state of repair and good working order & in addition they also need to ensure any fittings, fixtures & appliances they supply are in good working order. Beyond providing the EPC certificate - as it stands there is nothing at the moment about energy efficiency as far as I am aware. However I believe that the Scottish Government may be looking at this in future. Have you spoken to your landlord yet - might be worth an informal chat in first instance (its in their interest to keep properties warm and damp free - treating dampness is expensive!) If you are spending over 10% of your income on household fuel use then you would normally be classed as being in fuel poverty. If you think this would apply to you (or in fact anyone else on the forum) please drop me an email(James_Mullaney@shelter.org.uk)?



Do you have lived experience of fuel poverty?

Do you work for/with an organisation that works for/with people with experience of fuel poverty?

If so, Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) & Existing Homes Alliance (EHA) are looking for your participation at a Fuel Poverty roundtable event on

Monday 22nd October (10am until 1pm)

Full invitation details below.

Please contact Ashley directly via her email: ashley.campbell@cih.org if interested along with any accessibility, dietary or other requirements.


Hey! Sorry for taking so long to respond.

It’s difficult to get to chat to my landlord as my letting agent is not very helpful. I guess we aren’t officially classed as being in fuel poverty by that definition but with us spending 86% of our income on Rent it doesn’t leave a heck of a lot left over.


That seems like a huge proportion of your income on rent! There are new rules for letting agents. Would be interesting to see if your agent is following the new code. It includes things like handling complaints and dealing with repairs. We are currently doing some work around the new Letting Agent Code of Practice Craig. Can I contact you directly to discuss and see if you’d be interested in getting involved (anonymously if necessary)?


Thought you might be interested in this Chris (and others). Shelter Scotland has just submitted evidence to the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill which is looking at fuel poverty:


Further to info above, here’s an article discussing the Fuel Poverty Bill making its way through parliament from Ashley Campbell at Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland for those who are interested: