The government has withdrawn its latest electrical safety checks guidance for the private rental sector, with immediate effect.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.