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Electrical Safety Inspection deadline fast approaches

Thu 28 January 2021

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations came into force on the 1st June 2020 and applied in England to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020 but more critically to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.

Since 1st June 2020 all properties let must have had an electrical installation check carried out by a competent person with a copy of the report provided to the tenant. Any remedial work should be carried out within 28 days. Many of you will be already aware of this if you have let a property recently or extended your existing tenancy for a further fixed term.

However, this requirement will now apply to all let property including existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. We have been advising landlords for some time for the need for an electrical check which should then be done at least every 5 years thereafter. Anything let since last July 2020 will have had to have had one and many new or refurbished properties will have a certificate in place already.

Representation has been made to Government to see if they would consider an extension to the April deadline in view of the current Covid crisis and difficulties in gaining access and instructing contractors. However, as it currently stands no extension has been announced and landlords will need to ensure they are compliant by 1st April, although we would hope for some flexibility.

What do you need to do if you do not have a valid report?

  • Obtain a report that includes the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant at the property within 28 days calendar days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant before the tenant moves in and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for the report.
  • Retain a copy of the report until the next inspection and test is due, as well as supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test.

For all properties that form part of our full management portfolio we will be ensuring that properties will have a certificate from a suitably qualified electrical contractor if one does not already exist by the April the first deadline or at least of instructed a test accordingly if access cannot be obtained.

The regulations will be enforced by the local authority who can impose a fine and/or issue a remedial notice. Non-compliance currently does not mean a section 21 notice is invalid.

For any further advice please visit the government guidance @ gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards or contact one of our local lettings offices.

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