Some landlords are incredibly proactive in staying up to date with regulations, while others only respond when there are consequences of not doing so. For many landlords, the threat of a sizable penalty is often enough of an incentive to ensure they act, and The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 carries a substantial penalty for landlords who fail to comply.
The headline element of the Act is local authorities have the power to impose a fine of up to £30,000 on landlords who don’t comply with regulations. This should be enough of a threat that landlords pay attention to the rules, and make changes where necessary.
Be prepared for regulatory changes
Although the Act is still to be approved by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, it will likely come into effect on the 1st of July 2020. Therefore, this is an essential date for your diary, and it is recommended landlords make any required changes before this date.
All new tenancies which start on or after the 1st of July 2020 must adhere to the new regulations. This means landlords must ensure the rental accommodation holds a five-year electrical safety certificate. The test must be carried out by a qualified and registered electrician.
The certificate will provide a renewal date when the next test must be undertaken. This will typically be five years, but in some cases, it may be less time. Landlords must act on the shortest time, so if the report issued after the test states a time of less than five years, this is the relevant date.
Existing tenancies must follow the Act by 2021
For existing leases, the Act becomes relevant on 1st of April 2021. This may seem like a long time away, but it will be better for landlords to be prepared in advance of this date. Also, if a tenant’s plans change and they leave a tenancy before this date, the Act becomes relevant for the new tenant moving into the property. Therefore, landlords may have to act quickly, so it is best to be familiar with the Act as soon as possible.
If you are familiar with the Gas Safety certificate requirements, you will be comfortable with what you must do to adhere to the new regulations. Tenants should receive a copy of the Gas Safety certificate within 28 days of the certificate being issued. Landlords should provide new tenants with a copy of the certificate before they move into the property.
Potential new tenants have the right to request a copy of the certificate. Also, when landlords are asked to provide a copy of the certificate to their local authority, they should do so within seven days. Bearing in mind the size of the penalty a local council can impose on landlords who fail to comply with the regulations, it is best to follow these guidelines.
If you are a landlord in Bridgend and you want to ensure you comply with all regulations, please get in touch. At Hunters Bridgend, we are always happy to hear from you, and we look forward to assisting you throughout 2020.