04 Mar Why landlords need to act now to meet electrical safety proposals
After years in the pipeline, new electrical safety standards for private rental properties are expected to come into force on July 1.
The legislation is likely to get the green light in the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the coming weeks.
What will the new rules mean?
Currently, landlords are obligated to keep the electrics in their properties in good working order, but there are no hard and fast rules about exactly how and when they do this.
After July 1 this is likely to change. Every fixed electrical installation in a rental property will need to be inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years.
This inspection process will generate what’s called an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Get used to hearing this acronym. As a landlord, you’ll be required to give each tenant a copy of the property’s EICR at the beginning of a tenancy.
Your local authority will also have the right to ask to see a copy of the EICR – a request you must comply with within seven days. And letting agents won’t be able to move people into your property unless you can provide them with one too.
What if an inspection reveals a problem?
Any issue must be remedied within 28 days – or sooner, if it’s a more serious fault. The work needs to be done by a qualified person, and you need the paperwork to prove it’s been done to a high standard.
What if a landlord fails to comply?
Breach these new regulations, and you could be hit with a fine of up to £30,000. It’s also worth noting that local authorities will have the power to carry out repair works themselves – and then pass the costs, along with a hefty fine, onto the landlord.
If you don’t feel comfortable overseeing this process yourself, we can provide you with the right advice and numbers for good electricians to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.
When does it come into place?
The new rules are expected to come into effect on July 1, 2020. Any new tenancy or renewal after this date will require an electrical inspection and report (EICR).
For pre-existing tenancies, you have until April 1, 2021, to get an EICR.
If you’d like more advice about this new legislation contact Emma or Megan at Robinson Reade on 01489 579009. Our team are well-informed about these, and other new changes, and can help guide you through the processes.
Emma Macgregor MARLA