The Residential Landlords Associations (RLA) is calling on the government to delay introducing new electrical safety rules to help ensure that tenants are protected.
New regulations were presented before parliament last month in a move by the government to strengthen electrical safety practices and bring in line with those already well-established within gas safety regulations in private residential tenancies.
The regulation, if implemented, will only affect private residential tenancies; affecting new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and those tenancies already in existence from 1 April 2021.
The proposal will move to ensure all electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations are signed off and reported by a qualified electrician.
If the report highlights any issues, the landlord will be required to remedy the issue within 28 days, or potentially face a fine of up to £30,000.
However, the RLA warns that the changes, as currently proposed, will immediately remove the obligation for landlords to carry out electrical safety checks in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The obligation under the new rules will not apply until a tenancy is renewed or April 2021, whichever comes first, and this could leave some rental properties under no legally binding electrical safety regime for the interim period, leaving tenants without the assurance that properties are safe.
The RLA has written to the Ministry of Housing to express its concerns about the loophole being created for irresponsible landlords who otherwise would not carry out these checks. It wants to see the government postpone the implementation of the new framework to provide time to address the problems being caused.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Good landlords don’t need to be told to carry out safety checks but these changes to regulations leave tenants vulnerable to those landlords who are not so responsible.
“It is essential for the safety of tenants that the loophole being created is closed and we urge the government to delay implementation until that happens.”