Creating a safe rental environment is paramount for landlords. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act which was introduced in 2019 reinforced the importance of offering a safe place for tenants and landlords should strive to provide the best tenant experience.
There were many regulations introduced in 2019, and 2020 looks to be as challenging for landlords. When it comes to safety, there have been regulations in place for Gas Safety, but up until this year, Electrical Safety hasn’t received the same standard of care. This changes from this summer. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 is waiting on approval from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Mark 1 July in your diary
Landlords should prepare themselves, and their rental accommodation, for the new regulations being effective from 1 July 2020. For all new tenancies which begin on or after 1 July 2020, there must be a five-year electrical certificate in place for the property, with the test being undertaken by a registered electrician.
The certificate should last for five years, but in some cases, the landlord may be recommended to have the property checked again in a shorter time-frame. If this happens, the date which comes first is the pertinent one for landlords to adhere to.
For existing tenancies, the important date is 1 April 2021. This gives many landlords more time to ensure their rental property is up to standard, but landlords shouldn’t wait until this time. Even if your rental properties are let now, this may not always be the case. If a tenant moves out, and a new tenancy begins in July, the regulations will be in effect.
As always, landlords should be proactive rather than reactive in managing their rental property.
Be sure to communicate with tenants
Landlords should provide tenants with a copy of the Electrical Safety certificate within 28 days of the renewal. For a new tenancy, landlords should ensure the tenant receives a copy before the lease begins. During the pre-letting phase, a potential tenant can request a copy of the certificate, and the landlord should provide this within 28 days.
The local housing authority has the right to request a copy of the certificate, and the landlord should provide this within seven days. Bear in mind the local housing authority has the right to impose a financial penalty on landlords. As the fine can reach £30,000; most landlords will do their best to liaise with local housing authorities.
If remedial work must be undertaken, it should be completed in 28 days. However, if the report recommends remedial work is carried out sooner, the date which falls first is the pertinent date. When improvements have been carried out, landlords should receive confirmation of the work. A copy of the confirmation should be supplied to tenants, within 28 days.
We know many landlords need help managing their rental property, and with this new regulation, there is something else for landlords to consider. If you are a Hitchin landlord, and you need assistance, we can help. Please contact Country Properties Hitchin, and we will ensure you are fully compliant.