Landlords and estate agents are being placed under the spotlight with parliament soon to vote on a new law which will require all properties to have passed an electrical safety test prior to a new tenant taking occupancy from 1st July 2020.
Local authorities can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a breach of the regulations. Where there are multiple breaches, the local authority can impose multiple penalties.
An analysis by ARLA (The Association of Residential Lettings Agents) says this means agents and landlords have a duty of care to ensure every tenanted property has the fixed electrical installation inspected and tested at least every five years or at the change of each tenancy, by a qualified person.
ARLA also state that a landlord is required to obtain a copy of the electrical installation condition report from the person who conducted the inspection and supply it to each tenant within 28 days from the start of a new tenancy agreement, they must also be able to supply it to the local authority within 7 days, should they ask for it.
Despite the concern that certain standards won’t be reached with the possibility of landlords and tenants employing inexperienced or under qualified electricians to carry out the work, the Association backs the move with chief executive David Cox saying: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants. Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
To breakdown and clarify the paragraphs above, we have laid out the key points below:
Once the electrical installation has been tested, the landlord must:
• Ensure they receive a written report from the person conducting the inspection, which includes the results and the required date for the next inspection
• Supply a copy of this report to each existing tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection
• Supply a copy within seven days to the local authority, if they request a copy
• Keep a copy of the report until the next inspection and give a copy to the person undertaking the next inspection.
For new tenancies, the landlord must:
• Give a copy of the most recent report to a new tenant before the tenant occupies the property
• Give a copy of the most recent report to any prospective new tenant who requests the report in writing, within 28 days of receiving such a request.
KG owner Kyle Gamble has praised the proposals: “This has been a long time coming and ensures that tenants can move into a new property, safe in the knowledge that their electrical systems are safe and fit for purpose”.
“Customer safety is absolutely paramount, and this new law will add another level of safeguarding to landlords, agents and more importantly the new tenants.”
“Obviously regular checks are something we already preach here at KG and we’re glad to see this level of safety now being implemented by government”
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