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Government withdraws new electrical safety guidance for rental sector

The government has withdrawn its latest electrical safety checks guidance for the private rental sector, with immediate effect. However, there remains errors even in the 'old' guidance re-issued today.

Late yesterday the government published amended guidance but ARLA Propertymark spotted that it contradicted previous advice on deadlines, creating confusion as to which tenancies required which checks.

One interpretation of yesterday's guidance would have suggested that thousands of landlords were no longer compliant with the regulations. 


But a statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued at lunchtime today says: "We're grateful to our stakeholders for engaging with the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 and for their help preparing the guidance to these important regulations. We endeavour to make our guidance as useful and as clear as possible. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the recent update so we have reverted these changes and will carefully review the guidance. As before, we’ll work closely with our stakeholders as we ensure this guidance is up to date and useable.'"

However, even the guidance issued today - supposedly the 'old' guidance - is still incorrect. 

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark's chief executive, has told Letting Agent Today: "We are in complete agreement with the Guidance in the grey box and then replicated in Section 4 of the Tenant Guidance: 'If you sign a new tenancy agreement on or after 1 July 2020 the Regulations will apply to your rented home straight away. If you signed your tenancy agreement before 1 July 2020 the Regulations will apply for you from 1 April 2021.' However, the Landlord Guidance and the Local Authority Guidance is still different; indeed the Landlord Guidance at Section 3 now contains a typo – the first sentence should read April 2021, not April 2020."

You can see the current guidance - which as ARLA suggests is likely to change further - if you click here.

  • jeremy clarke

    The words arse and elbow spring to mind!

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    • 19 June 2020 12:22 PM

    Should just delay things for another year or so.
    That will give LL opportunity to resolve matters as this CV19 issue blows over.
    It is going to take many LL at least a year if not longer from August 23rd to evict rent defaulting tenants.
    Expecting LL to be subject to major costs with no rent coming in would be very unfair.
    So Feb 2022 should be when new regs are introduced.
    That will give LL 1 year 6 months from August 24th 2020 to evict and carry out the required relevant works so that their properties are available for letting.

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    I can't understand why they have not postponed for another year at least. It's really hard to get access to rental properties to carry out the testing. The tenants are anxious and some are shielding and wont allow access for the electrician. What does this mean from a legal point of view for the Landlord that he cannot get the test carried out.


    Creek and barbed wire canoe?


    I think you won’t require a cert for existing tenants until April 2021.

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    Yes, a delay of 1 year would be very helpful. I'm getting an EICR done at one of my properties today. Hopefully all will be ok!?
    The tenant, who is long-term, offered no objections to the inspection, but I did make sure to request that she stayed well out of the electrician's way. In fact, the electrician was more concerned about the social distancing and sanitizing challenges. Tenants will of course be nervous about tradesmen working inside their homes and it's important that landlords make sure that the electricians they hire are fully informed of the Covid19 precautions they must take.


    Just had one done on an empty proprty that has been let almost continuously for over twelve years. Cost to bring up to code - £780. One of the more minor problems, light covering in bathroom cracked and steam COULD get inside. A replacement light had already been purchased so they will swap when they do the work. Not expecting a bill that high, but if it needs to be done then so be it.

    While everyone can argue about the implementation date, if the property is empty just get the testing done.

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    I just wish someone somewhere would make it clear exactly what we need to be doing. It's not like we have anything else to do at the moment #facepalm

    The whole process has a knock on effect for Landlords, Tenants, Agents and electricians. It would be really cynical of me to assume that if vague information and guidelines are given out then it's more than likely that Landlords and Agents are going to slip up and face hefty fines!


    Really cynical Nikki.


    If the property is empty - get it tested.
    If it was rented after 1st June 2020 - get it tested.

    That is the simplest answer.

    We know that the government (in office but not in power) will amend all the errors and it is likely that the operational date will be 1st June 2020.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Lets be Fair, the legislators couldn't have made a bigger Co*k-up if they tried.
    Between the De-Reg Act and gas certs, The How 2 rent fiasco and now the EICR
    Certainly didn't go to the school of 'plain English' did they !

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    Having worked in the Civil Service when younger I am aware of how easy it is for them to make errors. They lack commonsense for a start. The Boris Boxes, which those of us needed for a while, contained five apples and fve oranges. Why five you ask? Well the civil servants work Monday to Friday so that is five days. Their thinking is, to say the least, blinkered.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Lyndon, there's people in MHCLG that shouldn't be trusted with a pen and paper, or let anywhere near a keyboard.

    Ocado and Tesco Home delivery drivers should swap places with the people producing this crap and lets entrust the 'vegetables' to delivering groceries.

    Okay, you'll order 5 apples and get 5 oranges instead, but that's less harmful than letting them loose on legislation !

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    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend
    Pen and paper? Some of them were still mourning the change from quill and parchment.


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