The government is bringing new electric safety standards into force in July 2020, and this has the potential to affect landlords across the country. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 are set to introduce a number of changes to legislation that all private landlords in England must comply with.
It should be noted that this is not UK-wide legislation, meaning that landlords who operate only in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are unaffected. Nevertheless, for private landlords in England, this means huge changes. So here we take a look at what these regulations mean for landlords, and what needs to be done.
We have already established that landlords with tenancies on properties in England are those who will be affected – but which types of tenancies do these regulations apply to? Importantly, it applies to residential tenancies in the event where the tenants have the right to occupy either all or part of the premises, are paying rent, and it is not listed as an excluded tenancy. And there is actually a discrepancy relating to them the new regulations will be enforced from. Landlords with existing tenancies must bring these changes into effect from April 1st 2021, while landlords with new tenancies from July 1st 2020 must comply with regulations.
The regulations state that landlords must hire a qualified person to carry out checks on the electrical installations in their rental properties. This check must establish whether the installations are in compliance with the 2018 edition of the Institute of Engineering and Technology wiring regulations. They must then create a report with the result of the inspection as well as the date of the next inspection (within the next five years).
If the report identifies a breach with regulations, landlords have 28 days in which to arrange for remedial works, followed by a reinspection to ensure that the property is now in full compliance with the regulations.This report must be made available to existing tenants with 28 days of it being received by the landlord, and available to new tenants when they move in.
It is important that landlords take these regulations seriously, as a part of the legislation is that local authorities have the power to impose fines on those who do not comply. It seems that local authorities will have the power to impose a fine of up to £30,000 for a breach of the regulations. However, it is also important to add that landlords that are shown to have breached the regulations multiple times can receive multiple fines – and there is no suggestion of a limit to how many times a landlord can be fined for not complying. This shows just how crucial it is for all landlords to comply with these regulations on all of their properties.
Of course, it should be remembered that we now live in unprecedented times. As lockdown grips the country, the government has taken steps to make things easier for businesses and has delayed the introduction of certain pieces of legislation in order to simplify life for everyone at this time. In spite of this, however, there does not appear to be any current plans to push back these regulations or make any changes to them. Fire safety work is considered to be essential under British government guidelines. Electrical fires can occur due to a number of reasons including light fixtures, overloading electrical sockets or extension leads and outdated wiring systems. Companies are making changes in order to be able to operate effectively under lockdown conditions. As such it is expected that landlords will be required to comply with these regulations as they have been originally set out.
Landlords still have time to ensure that their properties are up to the required standards and are in full compliance with the legislation, but this is not something that you should hold back on. These regulations will come into force and they must be respected as the new rules, regardless of how your electrical safety standards were dealt with in the past.
It is a great idea for landlords to get in contact with us in order for us to get this report carried out.on your property This will mean that there are no painful moments of having to rush through the remedial works or holding up a Tenant moving in.
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