As of 1 April, changes to electrical safety standards that apply to existing tenancies came into force and letting agents are being strongly advised to ensure they have and keep a paper trail.
Property Industry Eye reports that the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, requires electrical installations in private rental properties to be inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years.
Any agents or landlords who fail to comply with the new legislation, or fail to undertake any necessary repairs, could face fines of up to £3,000.
A copy of the Electrical Inspection Condition Report should be handed to the tenant, and if requested, a copy should be passed on to the local authority.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 officially came in to force on 1 July 2020, however, this was only for new tenancies that started after that date.
As of the beginning of April, the legislation now applies to all existing tenancies.
Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns manager at Propertymark, says: “The regulation sets out the requirements for landlords to ensure all fixed electrical installations are safe and maintained correctly.
“Importantly, due to the impact of the pandemic, where work is unable to be carried out, letting agents should document all activity relating to arranging, planning and scheduling work.”
He added that a paper trail of communication between tenants, landlords, and electrical inspectors will help safeguard against any enforcement activity, as it will show that everything has been done to ensure compliance with the regulations.
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