This week our advice team were able to advise one of our members of their obligations as a result of the upcoming Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector Regulations.
Our member has one property which is rented to a couple. The tenancy began in December 2019.
They wanted to understand what this new legislation means for them and if they have to get an electrical installation condition report in time for July.
The new legislation is in force and requires new tenancies from 1st July 2020 to have electrical installation condition report carried out and any required works completed on them before the starting of the tenancy. If not done, then the local authority can take enforcement action, with the maximum penalty being £30,000.
For tenancies that are already ongoing, this obligation does not come into effect until the 1st April 2021 so there is some transitional time for landlords if necessary.
We were able to advise our member that they will need to get an EICR carried out, however the date by which they will do this will be the 1st April 2021 due to them having an existing tenancy that was signed up and in place before the legislation was introduced.
It is a good idea to get it sorted sooner rather than later as they will last for up to 5 years at maximum, and there may be problems with the amount of electricians who are qualified and willing to do the works which could cause the prices to increase over time.
It is worthwhile bearing in mind also that some selective licences may require certification and landlords should check the requirements for their area.
If there is trouble with accessing the property, due to coronavirus or otherwise, then the landlord should keep clear documented records of them trying to fulfil their obligations to be able to explain why one has not been carried out – not for lack of the landlord trying, but for other extenuating circumstances preventing them.
The government has now also published guidance relating to this legislation which is available to read here. The guidance addresses some of the issues that the NRLA together with other organisations raised regarding this legislation. In addition to this, the NRLA has been working closely with NAPIT to develop guidance for landlords on the new rules.