Government plans to introduce mandatory electrical safety checks in PRS homes are being backed by...
Our Energy and Safety Campaign
A raft of legislation concerning energy efficiency in the PRS is about to be introduced, which will make it illegal for PRS landlords to rent out properties with F and G energy efficiency ratings. In addition to this the Government is consulting on whether to introduce mandatory testing of electrical installations in the PRS.
The RLA is responding to the consultation with its own ideas on how the electrical safety issue should be addressed and has serious concerns about the new energy efficiency legislation, which it believes could push rents up or see homes put up for sale and tenants evicted. We are now asking the Government to renew the compliance date.
The association has long promoted the importance of providing safe and secure homes and as well as producing an interactive visual guide for landlords it also offers a course in Legionella – allowing landlords to carry out their own assessments. Safety in the home is also covered in the RLA Principles of Letting course.
We have launched our 'Safe and Secure' home to help landlords identify the possible hazards in private rented houses. We hope this will help to ensure the home the landlord rents out is a safe, legal and secure home for the tenant. You can visit our 'Safe and Secure' home here:
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
As of April 1st 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020, with 330,000 properties expected to be affected. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.
The RLA believed up to 100,000 homes could have been wrongly classified had some success when the Government agreed to now agreed to adapt software used to establish Energy Performance Certificate ratings following a campaign spearheaded by the association.
The Government has proposed £5,000 cap on the cost of improvement works for landlords, but this has yet to be confirmed and the RLA is now calling for the Government to put back the April 2018 compliance date.
Under the Housing and Planning bill the Department for Communities and Local Government is consulting on whether to introduce mandatory testing of electrical installations in the PRS.
The electrical industry is pushing for five yearly electrical installation condition reports (EICR) which the RLA believes to be excessive for many properties.
The association is currently campaigning for the mandatory installation of residual current devices (RCDs) to protect the occupant from electric shocks from the installation and any appliances and extension leads connected to it.
When the RCD is fitted the installation would need testing and the electrician would then recommend a suitable frequency for future testing based on the condition of the installation and tenant use.
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