Landlords – Be prepared for increasing regulation

by Property 118

2 months ago

Landlords – Be prepared for increasing regulation

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Landlords – Be prepared for increasing regulation

Private landlords in England need to be prepared for increasing regulation following the publication of a Government consultation.

Tim Miles, a Partner with national firm Clarke Willmott LLP, says the consultation on electrical safety will have a significant impact on private landlords and the buy to let sector in England.

The consultation proposes to compel private landlords to undertake mandatory electrical installation safety checks every five years, on all private rented properties within their portfolio.

Following similar obligations in Scotland, the consultation proposes a fine of between £5,000 and £30,000 for failure to comply, which should provide a costly deterrent. Although, unlike Scottish regulations, the consultation falls short of proposing checks on electrical appliances such as white goods supplied by landlords, it will still have a significant impact.

Additionally, landlords also need to be aware that in line with current gas safety requirements, the consultation proposes preventing landlords from being able to evict tenants under a Section 21 notice unless they have provided the tenant a copy of electrical installation safety documentation.

If approved, regulations from the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government are likely to follow later this year.

Tim Miles, said: “Private landlords in England need to be prepared for increasing regulation and should not view the consultation as a stand-alone act, but as part of a wider package of action.

“Another consultation has been released in the same week proposing that private landlords will be required to sign up to a new private housing ombudsmen and the Government’s support for The Homes (Fitness of Human Habitation) Bill.

“These consultations are part of the Government’s clear intent to protect tenants post-Grenfall.

“Additionally landlords need to be aware that the five year mandatory suggestion is only a suggestion and there is the potential that (dependent on the views of respondents) the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government may, on reflection, view that annual electrical safety checks may be more appropriate. Accordingly it is imperative that all interested parties respond to the consultation to ensure that a wide range of views are considered.”

You can respond to the Consultation until 16th April 2018 via Survey Monkey

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PRSElectricalConsultation or by e-mail to PRSElectricalConsultation@communities.gsi.gov.uk.

Comments

Gary Nock

2 months ago

I don't think this is too onerous. As landlords and agents we have Electrical Installation Condition Reports done on our landlords and our own properties every 5 years. Won't let without one. Costs £150 per property. Or £30 a year over 5 years. In addition we do visual / plug tests between tenancies. How else can you evidence due diligence that the property is safe? The only thing you have to watch out for is the electricians who tell you that a 10 year old property needs a full rewire " as it's not to current standards ( NTCS) mate" or every property with the older fuseboards needs to " be brought up to date" with a new metal consumer unit. They don't. The various editions of the electrical regs are not retrospective. ( I think its Version 17 or 18 now) You will end up with the following classifications on the EICR - and this is how my electrician explains it to me:

C1 - Immediately Dangerous - It's gonna fry you - get it done immediately!!

C2- Potentially Dangerous - It might fry you- best get it done asap.

C3 - It could do with an upgrade - like a new consumer unit - but you don't have to get it done. Bit like an advisory on an MOT.

Chris Daniel

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 22/02/2018 - 17:20
Look at the Fire service stats about the most common causes of House Fires, Smoking and cooking, - what the #+*k has that got to do with testing the wiring and connections every 5 years.
If there's RCD protection, any fault will actually trip the power out, making a call to an electrician a necessity.
Far better to concentrate on manufacturers who are making faulty appliances, and encourage, ( or even dare I say, legislate that landlords at least, BUT I'd include Tenants, must ) sign up to receiving Updates on circulars on Faulty - recalled appliances ( such as the washer that caused the Grenfell fire - Electrical safety reports Every month wouldn't have prevented that ! )

Bluey

2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 22/02/2018 - 17:20
Not to onerous..! Well Depending on how many lets you have you mean. So speak for yourself Gary.
Do you get your own property electrically checked over every 5 years, or just do necessary jobs as needed... get my point?
This is yet another piece of pending legislation which leads towards collapsing of investors to the market.

Gary Nock

2 months ago

Hi Bluey. We have 13 properties of our own and manage 45 others. When this was first muted about two years ago we put a programme in place to get them all done. It's all about ensuring the installation is "safe" at the point of the check. Then follow the Electricity Safety Councils advice to check plugs etc between tenancies. (And covering your back) Checks every 12 months are a bit over the top but every 5 years is not too unreasonable. Unlike the need for Legionella Assessments ( which we do as part of our letting service) which are unnecessary in my view in domestic dwellings.
And yes - I do have my own personal property EICR checked every 5 years!

Rob Crawford

2 months ago

Where are all these electricians going to come from?

Anon

2 months ago

I had a electric check done, only for the tenant to change light fittings and got a 'mate' who works in the building. He put a screw through on the wires.

There should be still penalties for tenants who tamper with electrics.

I got fed up of battery smoke alarms going missing, so paid an electrician to fit hard wire smoke alarm, only to find they had disconnected it (and left exposed wires). It was fitted fair away from the kitchen (to avoid false alarm), even then I struggle to understand why they removed it.

If the Government wants to have such rules, then they need to have still penalties for tenants too.


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