Letting agents have been told to document all arranging, planning and scheduling of work related to electrical checks in a bid to satisfy new government requirements.
ARLA Propertymark and others have called for a delay to the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, which is scheduled to apply to existing tenancies from April 1.
The call is because many agents and landlords are struggling to cope with problems caused by the pandemic.
However, ARLA warns that no extensions appears to be forthcoming.
The regulations came into force on June 1 2020 and applied in England to all new tenancies from July 1 2020 and all existing tenancies from April 1 this year.
ARLA says: "All landlords should make every effort to abide by the rules provided that this can be done inline with guidance on working in people’s homes during Coronavirus.”
In a response to a letter sent to housing minister Chris Pincher, his department - the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - has suggested that local authorities take a common-sense approach to enforcement of the electrical safety regulations in the light of the pandemic.
ARLA adds: “Furthermore, a landlord will not be in breach of the duty to comply with a remedial notice if the landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.”
Even so, the association recommends agents ensure they have detailed paper-trails and document everything from phone calls, refused access, planned checks and scheduled remedial work.
Propertymark says it will continue to press decision-makers to understand the practical implications of legislation and the impact of Covid-19.
Now Propertymark is advising agents with concerns to contact their local MP to make them aware of how Covid-19 is impacting their business.
You can find and contact your local MP here.