Lettings agents will soon have to complete electrical checks on all rented properties they manage for electrical safety or face fines of up to £30,000.
The proposals are outlined in the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 laid in front of parliament yesterday and expected to become law on 1st April this year. The government had hoped to bring the new regulations in earlier, but was persuaded that landlords and letting agents should be given time to cope with the avalanche of other regulations in the pipeline.
This lays out in substantial detail how landlords and letting agents will have to ensure that electrical installations within a property are tested by a qualified person.
For new tenancies this will have to carried out at the beginning of the tenancy and then every five years. For existing tenancies, the properties will have to be checked by 1st April 2021 and then every five years.
The rules will apply to every kind of privately rented property and failure to comply will attract fines of up to £30,000.
As with gas appliances, a copy of the electrical safety report produced following the inspection will have to be supplied to the property’s tenants.
Also, letting agents and landlords will have just 28 days to fix any problem outlined by the inspection.
“We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants,” David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark.
“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”
Read the legislation in full.