Mandatory electrical checks are to be introduced in the private rental sector

If you are a landlord, you are probably aware of the continual changes that the private rental sector faces; and today we are outlining the most recent of these changes.

Proposals for lettings agents to complete mandatory electrical checks on all rented properties they manage have been outlined in the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. These new regulations are expected to become law on 1st July this year, and is an additional string to the bow of regulations that lettings agents have to follow.

Put in to laments terms, it simply means that it will be compulsory that an electrical safety check is carried out on privately rented properties. The draft regulations propose that, from 1 July 2020, all new private tenancies in England will need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person prior to the start of a new tenancy; whilst all existing tenancies must be in compliance by 1st April 2021.

The landlord will then be required to ensure that the installation is inspected and tested at least every five years, and more regularly if the most recent safety report requires it.

These new rules will apply to every kind of privately rented property and, as with gas appliances, a copy of the electrical safety report will have to be supplied to the property’s tenants. On top of the new mandatory checks, lettings agents and landlords will have just 28 days to fix any problem outlined by the inspection.

A breach of these regulations could see landlords and/or agents fined up to £30,000.

Jacobs Steel’s Lettings Manager, Ollie Whiting, says, 

“Electrical safety certificates becoming mandatory for all rental properties in the UK has been discussed at length for a while; therefore it wasn’t a surprise to hear it was being implemented.

I feel it will have a positive impact on the industry as a whole, although more responsibility will fall onto landlords and agents to ensure their properties are compliant. The safety of tenants is absolutely paramount and should be treated with the utmost importance. “

He went on to say that, 

“Gas safety checks are a legal requirement and carried out every 12 months, therefore it makes sense that electrics are treated in the same way. This change of legislation will only help landlords and agents adhere to their responsibilities for tenant safety, whilst ensuring their property is not at risk from faulty electrics.”

For any advice regarding your rental portfolio, contact our lettings department on 01903 506040 or click here.
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