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Independent Review of Building Regulations: What Should Landlords Do?

Independent Review of Building Regulations: What Should Landlords Do?

Earlier this year, the results of an independent review investigating possible changes to building regulations were released. Dame Judith Hackitt, former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive, led the study. As part of the review, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler made recommendations for safety measures to protect private tenants from risks associated with electrical faults. The idea is that the recommendations could improve living conditions and fire safety for tenants.

There has been a lot of publicity around property safety – particularly in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy of 2017. Earlier this year, we reported on recent changes to electrics in tenancy legislation; as property agents, we take safety very seriously and are keeping a close eye on these developments. But just what has been recommended by the recent independent review, and what sort of action should landlords take? Below is a summary of the findings:-

  1. Five-yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks should be applied to all rental properties to improve overall electrical safety in rental properties.
  2. Safety checks should include the issuing of safety certificates to verify that safety checks have taken place and detail any repair work that needs to be undertaken.
  3. A scheme should be put in place to ensure that all electricians working on rental properties are regulated, being properly trained to undertake electrical work.
  4. Electrical appliances supplied by landlords should also undergo regular tests and visual checks, especially at the beginning of a new tenancy.

These measures are in addition to proposals for higher fines for rogue landlords, designed to improve regulation in the private rentals industry.

As Heather Wheeler explained, ‘Everyone deserves a safe place to live. While measures are already in place to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants’.

She adds, however, that ‘We want to ensure we strike the right balance between protecting tenants while being fair for landlords’. This promise of fairness is good news for landlords, who may be concerned otherwise that the new regulations will prove time-consuming and costly for them.

At Julie Twist Properties, we already ask our landlords to undertake robust electrical safety checks as part of their tenancies. All our in-house maintenance staff are highly qualified and are subject to regular quality checking, meaning that we are working hard to ensure that we already conform to the proposed measures.

If you are concerned about electrical safety at your property, then your Property Manager will be happy to discuss this further with you. Please contact us online, by telephone or in person to find out how we can help.

 

 

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