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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Fear that stamp duty holiday could produce spate of unsafe rentals

A trade body is reminding new landlords tempted by the stamp duty holiday of the raft of health and safety measures they or their agents must manage.

The NICEIC, which assesses the competence of electrical contractors and maintains a roll of over 36,000 registered operators, says the stamp duty holiday is likely to produce a surge in buy to let entrants. 

This comes just as enhanced health and safety measures kick in, particularly in terms of electrical safety.

For the past six weeks now landlords or their agents must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is “qualified and competent”, at least every five years. 

Having come into effect for new properties from July 1 and due for existing properties as of April 1 2021, failure to adhere to the new legislation could incur a fine of up to £30,000.

Paul Collins, NICEIC’s technical services manager, says: “At NICEIC … our concern lies in the fact that for some it may be all too tempting to rush into buying a property to rent, without first having a full understanding of the responsibility it entails.”

According to the trade body standards in electrical safety have not kept up with the growth of the rental sector. 

The organisation says 48 per cent responding to a recent survey would go by the recommendation of a family member or friend when seeking an electrician; only seven per cent check for professional accreditations – leaving them exposed to cowboy tradespeople.

“The result of which can be a whole host of safety and cost implications – we must remember, after all, that electrics can be deadly and must be installed and maintained by a competent professional. Take this into the private rented sector domain, where there is a huge legal and ethical responsibility to protect tenants, and this becomes even more serious” cautions Collins.

Poll: Will the stamp duty holiday attract inexperienced landlords?

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    I am only surprised that a mere 48% will go with a recommendation from a family member or friend. Surely that applies to most professionals whether they be electricians, plumbers or letting agents? It does not mean that they don’t then check for accreditation. Perhaps if the NICEIC reproduced the question asked, the answers would be more believable.

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