The government has released new guidance regarding electrical safety checks - and there's a worry it may include thousands of additional rental properties.
The checks relate to the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 and mean that:
- the electrical wiring, sockets, consumer units (fuse boxes) and other fixed electrical parts in rented homes must be inspected and tested every five years, or more often than this if the inspector thinks that is necessary.;
- throughout the whole time a tenant is living at the property, national electrical safety standards must be met;
- landlords or their agents must give tenants a report that shows the condition of the property’s electrical installations. They also have to give this to the local council if they ask for it;
- if a new tenancy agreement is signed on or after 1 July 2020 the Regulations will apply to the rented home straight away;
- if the tenancy agreement is signed before 1 July 2020 the Regulations will apply from 1 April 2021.
However, ARLA Propertymark says the timing of when these checks apply to different tenancies contradicts previous published guidance from government.
A statement from ARLA last night said: "If correct, this change brings thousands of private rented sector properties into scope and in need of an EICR this Summer, rather than by April 2021. ARLA Propertymark is ensuring that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government fully understands the consequences of the change and we are seeking urgent clarification. We will update members as soon as we have confirmation."
You can see the full new government guidelines here.