The Guide to Letting Legally series looks at how you can let out your property legally and safely. First things first, are you up to date with the changes to Electrical Safety Standards?
According to recent research led by ARLA Propertymark, 50% of letting agents surveyed in September 2020, had more than 60 tenancies that will require every fixed electrical installation at the property to be inspected and tested by April this year.
From 1 April 2021, all existing specified private tenancies will need to comply with the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. The Regulations, which were first introduced in June 2020, aim to ensure all electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations are signed off by a qualified electrician including wiring, sockets, fuse box and other fixed electrical parts.
The national standards are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’; you can find these on gov.uk.
Suppose a private tenant has the right to occupy your property as their only or primary residence and pays the rent; in that case, the new Regulations apply to you, including assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.
Exceptions include those on a long lease of 7 years or more, social housing, lodgers, student halls, hostels, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.
If a report highlights any issues, the landlord will have to remedy the problem within 28 days, or potentially face a fine of up to £30,000.
Landlords must give a copy of all reports and documentation of any remedial or further investigative work to the tenant and local authorities.
In addition to ensuring national standards, set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, for electrical safety to be met, landlords of privately rented accommodation must make sure all electrical installations in their properties are inspected tested every five years.
Ahead of the inspections, make sure you know where the relevant electrical installations are (if possible) including any fixed electrical parts (such as wiring), socket outlets (or plug sockets), light fittings, consumer unit/fuse box and permanently connected equipment like showers and extractors.
The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations. This means tenants are responsible for making sure their own devices are safe.
With the above in mind, Bramleys are implementing EICR reports for all their managed properties. To keep you up to date with legislation changes and staying legally compliant at every stage; and for comprehensive yet highly flexible property management solutions, contact Bramleys for more information.