A lettings agency is issuing general guidance to the landlord community ahead of changes to Electrical Safety Standards in April.
Helen Hollingsworth, a partner at Bramleys, explains: “Suppose a private tenant has the right to occupy your property as their only or primary residence and pays the rent; in that case, the new regulations apply to you, including assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.
“Exceptions include those on a long lease of seven years or more, social housing, lodgers, student halls, hostels, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.
“If a report highlights any issues, the landlord will have to remedy the problem within 28 days, or potentially face a fine of up to £30,000”.
Landlords must give a copy of all reports and documentation of any remedial or further investigative work to the tenant and local authorities.
In addition to ensuring national standards for electrical safety to be met - set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’ - landlords of privately rented accommodation must make sure all electrical installations in their properties are inspected and tested every five years.
According to recent research led by ARLA Propertymark, 50 per cent of letting agents surveyed in September 2020 had more than 60 tenancies that will require every fixed electrical installation at the property to be inspected and tested by April this year.
From April 1 this year - that’s just six weeks from now - all existing specified private tenancies will need to comply with the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.
The Regulations, which were first introduced in June 2020, aim to ensure all electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations are signed off by a qualified electrician including wiring, sockets, fuse box and other fixed electrical parts.