Mandatory electrical inspections expected imminently

** BREAKING NEWS **

The government announced on Wednesday 15th January that it is pressing ahead with the introduction of mandatory electrical checks and hope to introduce the legislation imminently. Both 1st April and the 1st July have been touted as the implementation date with neither date giving Landlords much notice about such a major change. The law will apply to all new tenancies granted from the implementation date and 1st April 2021 is currently being touted as the date by which all existing tenancies will also have to comply.

The government says The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 have been laid before Parliament. These are likely to be agreed by the Commons and the Lords in the coming weeks.

An analysis by ARLA says this means agents and Landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. The regulations also state that a Landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection, supply it to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.

ARLA says that upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within seven days, and a private landlord must supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from that prospective tenant. Breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

More importantly, a Landlord will only have 28 days to fix any problems outlined by the inspection.

The Association of Residential Lettings Agents backs the move with chief executive David Cox saying: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants”.