RLA writes to Ministry of Housing over electrical safety loophole

RLA writes to Ministry of Housing over electrical safety loophole

13:27 PM, 24th February 2020, About 3 years ago 31

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New regulations raise the prospect of the highest risk rental properties not being covered by a legally binding electrical safety regime for a prolonged period of time.

The changes, due to come into force from June this year, will immediately remove the obligation for landlords to carry out electrical safety checks in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The obligation under the new rules will not apply until a tenancy is renewed or April 2021, whichever comes first.

This will leave some rental properties under no legally binding electrical safety regime for the interim period, leaving tenants without the assurance that properties are safe.

The new plans, which have been presented to Parliament for agreement, also contain weaker penalties for landlords failing to keep the properties they rent safe and complicate the process by which local authorities can issue penalties, making enforcement more difficult.

The Residential Landlords Associations has written to the Ministry of Housing to express its concerns about the loophole being created for irresponsible landlords who otherwise would not carry out these checks. It is calling on the Government to delay the implementation of the new framework to provide time to address the problems being caused.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said:

“Good landlords don’t need to be told to carry out safety checks, but these changes to regulations leave tenants vulnerable to those landlords who are not so responsible. It is essential for the safety of tenants that the loophole being created is closed and we urge the Government to delay implementation until that happens.”


Rob Crawford

16:53 PM, 24th February 2020, About 3 years ago

I'm assuming this is a tenant biased argument made by RLA to generate time to address all the other issues in regard to how this particular legislation is written!? An argument in favour of tenants being more likely to delay it's release than a landlord argument!

paul robinson

8:27 AM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

Surely the new wiring regs will not supersede the existing HMO management regs and HMO licence conditions that are currently in force for HMO electrics?

Chris @ Possession Friend

10:17 AM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

The RLA and NLA Campaigned and supported the Govt in this Biased Legislation against PRS landlords only.
Who needs enemies with a ' Representative ' (sic) organisation like that !
I mocked them in a recent Facebook post - see ;


12:05 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

RLA how the hell can you implement electrical safety in any rental accomodation when tenants themselves are the biggest culprits when it comes to electrical safety, using unsafe long extension leads, plugging in phone chargers and leaving them on charge on soft furnishings, if a building is wired up properly in the first place it remains pretty safe for a very long time, what about the lives of the home owners? are their lives not as important as those of tenants? Already landlords are overburdened with endless legislation and the last thing we need is RLA to poke their nose in encouraging for more legislation, why don't RLA just shut the f*** up and sit back and fight for less legislation instead of more.

paul robinson

12:16 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 25/02/2020 - 12:05
Interesting point of view, although think in this instance the RLA are just questioning the loop hole (although I’m unsure exactly that they mean) and it’s the Government s electrical safety bill for the PRS. I agree it’s more burden, but not so much if your rental’s electrics are up to a decent standards. It will hopefully get a lot of dangerous systems upgraded, which otherwise some landlords will just ignore. Landlords can’t legislate on how tenants use the safe house wiring, but that’s a tenants issue if they chose to do that.


20:53 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

no amount of legislation can prevent bad landlords from doing what they want to do, no amount of legislation can stop those who are bent on breaking the law, or ignoring the law, most of us tread sensibly, use common sense, when we see dangerous sockets or wiring we take immediate action, some who choose not to is their problem, they will face the consequences of that , why subject majority of law abiding landlords to even more legislation? why? Most sensible motorist follow highway rules, do not exceed speed limits, drive with due care and attention, some who are bent on speeding or drive recklessly face the consequences of the law and often suffer instant karma, but to say that all good landlords who have had their properties refurbished with new electrics and other safety regulations complied with now require safety certificate is madness, let the tenants report those issues to local councils that is what this new legislation was recently put into place where tenants can sue landlords for property being unfit. If assuming a tenant is accidently killed by a faulty wiring, needless to say the landlord will face its consequences, but a safety certificate cannot prevent a death as having a driving license does not guarantee a motorist may not kill someone accidentally through bad driving. One must accept legislation cannot prevent deaths, another example is the knife crime, no amount of punishment can stop those who are bent on carrying knives.

paul robinson

21:40 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 25/02/2020 - 20:53
Agree to some comments, but there are also plenty of honest/decent landlords who really haven’t got a clue what condition their electrical installations are in, either because they bought the rental and not rewired or to be frank haven’t got a clue about wiring etc. Visual surveys are fine but the only way you are going to know whet condition it is in is to physically test it. Plenty of faults (easy to rectify) can occur even on a fairly newly rewired property, however thee faults can be very dangerous. Don’t agree with over regulation of the industry, but to have an periodic test done every 5 years is really the least of the worry for a decent landlord in the PRS

Chris @ Possession Friend

22:13 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

Sorry, don't agree, most of the problems with electrical safety are in the appliances being faulty, or Tenants overloading sockets.
And if we ARE convinced its necessary, why isn't it necessary for ALL Tenures ( Social and Council Housing ! )
Its like EPC's only applying to PRS, Govt are out to give our sector a kicking, end of.
However, the tide may be starting to turn, if you look at a few posts on my facebook page @possessionfriend

paul robinson

22:56 PM, 25th February 2020, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 25/02/2020 - 22:13
Agree that is a problem, however electrical wiring is also. I’ve done plenty of social housing work over the years and a lot it not most HA we have worked for do do periodic inspections on their electrics, it may not be a legal requirement, but it’s their policy. No idea about council houses, but would agree one rule for the PRS and agree we are getting hammered every way. Yes saw that post, although wasn’t you sure what it meant, do you mean all the Govs Anti PRS is about to end, or just that the demand is outstripping supply further as landlord sell up?


2:47 AM, 26th February 2020, About 3 years ago

As an experienced electrical/electronics engineer, some faults can still be present and not detectable even by meggering wiring at 500v, most electrical wires these days can last well over 30 years, even when exposed to sunlight, the material technology has improved significantly, most faults occur in plugs and sockets, or in light pendants, any faults developing on these fittings can can occur at any time even after new wiring installation, most faults become apparent when things fail to work, some are even visually apparent , most tenants would report such faults to landlords and are duly rectified ,
testing installation is another gimmick exercise, just please some bureaucrats, it does nothing towards safety of tenants or home owners, take this for instance when I had my HMO wiring installation test carried out by an independent tester, these were the comments on my safety certificate:

Further to this, someone might come on here, and say yes but a faulty wiring can cause fire hazard and endanger life, indeed that is why we have been asked to fit Smoke Detectors why the bloody hell do we need these then? I know why, just something to impose more burden on us, no one can stop people dying because there are millions of reasons a death can occur, we cannot possibly cover them all, stairs for instance can kill if someone trips and falls, bath tubs are slippery, someone can lose life by a fall, how much can we protect?

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