Ignoring new electricity rules could end in a fines shock
Regulations introducing new electrical safety standards in the private rented sector in England are expected to come into force later this year in a bid to improve safety for tenants.
The new rules, likely to become a legal requirement from this summer, mean landlords – including estates and farm businesses with let residential property – may need to plan and budget for mandatory five-yearly electrical safety checks.
Failure to carry out the checks and any remedial work needed as a result could leave landlords exposed to hefty fines.
We expect these regulations to come into law in the next few months and apply to new specified tenancies from July 1, 2020, and existing specified tenancies from April 1, 2021. While social housing, long leases and student halls of residence are directly excluded from the regulations, the new rules will apply to most other tenancies.
It therefore looks likely, although this will need to be confirmed, that the rules will capture Rent Act tenancies and tenancies that form part of an employee’s contract of employment, such as a farm worker living in a farm or estate cottage, for the better performance of his or her duties.
Now is a good time for landlords to check when electrical installations were last inspected, so they can take the necessary steps to ensure they are compliant when the time comes.
Luke Clay, surveyor in the Shrewsbury office of Strutt & Parker
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