Environment, Safety and Standards Press Releases

Electrical safety rules will leave tenants at risk

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

New electrical safety rules could leave tenants in high-risk rental homes vulnerable.

The regulations are due to come into force from June this year and will immediately remove the obligation for landlords to carry out electrical safety checks in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). 

The electrical safety obligation under the new rules will not apply until a tenancy is renewed or April 2021, whichever comes first. 

This will leave some rental properties under no legally binding electrical safety regime for the interim period, leaving tenants without the assurance that properties are safe.

Weaker penalties

The new plans, which have been presented to Parliament for agreement, also contain weaker penalties for landlords failing to keep the properties they rent safe and complicate the process by which local authorities can issue penalties, making enforcement more difficult.

The RLA has written to the Ministry of Housing to express its concerns about the loophole being created for irresponsible landlords who otherwise would not carry out these checks. 

It is calling on the government to delay the implementation of the new framework to provide time to address the problems being caused.

Tenants left vulnerable

David Smith, RLA policy director said: “Good landlords don’t need to be told to carry out safety checks but these changes to regulations leave tenants vulnerable to those landlords who are not so responsible. 

“It is essential for the safety of tenants that the loophole being created is closed and we urge the government to delay implementation until that happens.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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