It is important that landlords comply with all regulations in the industry. As you would expect, health and safety are extremely important for landlords, and these tests and checks are integral to the work a landlord does. Gas safety checks have been a common part of a landlord’s duties in recent years, but there hasn’t been as much focus on electrical tests. However, this is set to change and landlords should be prepared for mandatory electrical inspections.
While the Government has enough to be going on with at the moment, new rules have been announced which make electrical inspections essential for private landlords. These mandatory electrical tests must be undertaken by qualified and competent instructors.
There are penalties in place for landlords that fail to comply with these regulations. It is fair to say that the Government has focused on the rental sector in recent years, and there is a drive to remove rogue landlords from the sector. In the long-term, this should be of benefit to landlords but it may cause some discomfort in the short-term.
From the 1st of June 2019, local councils will be able to impose fines of up to £30,000 on landlords deemed as rogue landlords, renting out poor quality homes. This is part of the overall strategy in raising the standards of rental accommodation.
The new rules will be in a transitional period for the initial two years. In this stage, the rules will impact all new private tenancies for the first year and then in the second year, the rule will apply to all private tenancies, including existing tenancies.
Any property which holds an existing electrical installation condition report, more commonly known as an EICR, will not have to replace this report until five years have passed from the issue date.
For properties with are new and which have been completely rewired, it is possible to present an Electrical Installation Certificate instead of an EICR, as long as the next inspection date listed on the certificate is still to come.
As with most things impacting on landlords, there is a need for clarity and detailed information. The new guidance will detail the level of qualifications and competence required by the professionals carrying out the inspections. This will help landlords to vet suitable professionals and then hire an appropriate person to carry out the testing for their property.
The Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants. These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes. It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks.”
At Hansons Estates, we know landlords have a lot to consider and arrange, but these safety checks will offer comfort and peace of mind for tenants. If you are a landlord looking for assistance in managing your property, contact us and we will be happy to help.