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Agents call for delay in launch of stricter mandatory electrical checks

The Association of Residential Letting Agents says it backs the stricter rules on mandatory electricity checks in rental properties announced by the government - but it’s called for a delay on their introduction.

Earlier this week the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government revealed it would be publishing new guidance setting out the minimum level of competence and qualifications necessary for those carrying out these important inspections.

Properties that already have a valid electrical installation condition report will not need to replace it until five years have passed since it was issued.


Agents must ensure that any inspectors hired to issue an EICR hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.

This proposal would become law “as soon as the Parliamentary timetable allows” with the industry getting at least six months notice.

Given the government’s logjam over Brexit that may be some time, but ARLA is getting in quick at urging a delay. 

“Government needs to publish the corresponding guidance as soon as time allows” urges ARLA in a statement.

“We welcome the requirement for inspectors to hold the correct qualification and a level of competency, as we have previously called for a competent person scheme specific to private rented sector electrical testing.

“The government must ensure that there is sufficient time for practical implementation to take place. There will be a limited number of practitioners qualified to complete the checks. The rules need to be easy to understand and comply with, for both property professionals and their tenants.

“Finally, letting agents are dealing with unprecedented levels of change over coming months and the pressure on the private rented sector to deliver against all of the requirements should not be underestimated.”

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    The required safety regulations themselves detail the skills and procedures needed to carry out the inspections. The competence certificates are bona fide City & Guilds qualifications.Why on earth do we need another layer of 'experts' to use the system to earn a couple of months wages to repeat the operation? All this was decided many years ago.

    The problems we have now are due to property inspections not being done properly. My agent alone has caused me many thousands of pounds loss through having no idea of technical matters. They work on the principle that if they can not understand or don't see a problem then it is nothing to do with them. This is where we need greater effort. Electricians and gas fitters know what they are doing and they have an exam to prove it thank you very much.

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    Get on with it I say. From day one we have told our landlord clients that in order to show due diligence to their tenants with regard to electrical safety, they need to get a safety certificate. Over 95% do so. The few who do not we ask to sign a disclaimer to confirm that they chose to ignore our advice. I welcome this certificate being compulsory ASAP

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    So let property is potentially dangerous, but owner occupied ones are not. Mmmmm.
    Modern properties have safety systems built in so inspection is unnecessary. This is just buerocracy gone mad.

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    So why delay? Probably take LA's about 3 or 4 years to catch up with offenders anyway by which time all will generally be well in the PRS. We hope, that is if there is one left at that time.

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    3 monthly Inspection, yearly Gas Safe certificates, PAT and electrical reports and certificates. Ask the largest Landlord in the UK, the council, when they last inspected their properties?
    Ask them if they operate with the same rules and regs they make us operate under.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 01 February 2019 20:30 PM

    the local council already imposed the requirement of a niceic certificate from landlords as a pre requisites in granting hmo licence. so why the extra money thrown to the housing dept in council to inspect? do they not trust the niceic cert?


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