In January this year, new electrical safety regulations were presented before Parliament that will bring them in line with the more stringent gas safety regulations that have been a part of private residential tenancies for years now. It’s great to see this new change, as the regulations have been falling behind for a while now.
However, how will the new regulations affect landlords and tenants – not to mention the new electrical safety professionals?
If implemented, the regulations will come into effect for all new private residential tenancies on the 1st of July. For tenancies already in effect, the new electrical safety regulations will kick off on April 1, 2020.
This means that landlords and agents have just under a year to ensure that all their properties have been inspected and that reports have been obtained for all properties too.
What are the rules?
The new regulations state that all electrical wiring and electrical installations must be signed off by a qualified electrician. This will include a signed report that must be presented whenever a new tenancy agreement is signed and must also be renewed every five years or whenever the landlord makes any alterations to the electrics.
If any issues are reported then the landlord will have 28 to rectify them, or else incur a fee from the local council of up to £30,000. So, this is certainly not an issue to take lightly.
Landlords and agents must comply with these new regulations going forward if we are to stand any chance of electrical safety standards meeting the high standards set by gas safety.
Indeed, it will be unlawful for landlords to market a property unless they have a recent signed-off electrical report and, quite frankly, that’s the way it always should have been.
This is a policy aimed at those rogue landlords who think it’s acceptable to cut corners when it comes to electrical work. This is something that simply shouldn’t be tolerated.
Thankfully, electrical testing doesn’t need to be an expensive or laborious process. Prices for a test start at as little as £125 for a 1-bedroom home and will be undertaken with full respect for recent social distancing guidelines.
This includes engineers who will have been given full training in keeping safe and helping to prevent the spread of the virus through regular hand-washing and practical social distancing measures.
It’s going to see a rather strange new world in the coming weeks and months, but it’s a world that must continue turning and electricity is a large part of that.
If the pandemic has taught us anything though, it’s that safety has never been more important and safety standards have never been more exposed and put under the microscope.
In such an environment, it’s vital that landlords are aware of their responsibilities in keeping tenants safe and these new regulations could help them realise exactly how deep those responsibilities run.