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Changes to landlords regulations

Landlords, listen up…


Photo by James Feaver on Unsplash

Whilst we may be out of the EU and away from all its regulations, red tape and rules haven’t reduced for landlords—if anything, they’ve increased.


The introduction of these new rules has tightened up landlords’ responsibilities when it comes to the safety and operations of the homes they rent. The government are aiming to improve standards in the private rental sector, which saw the highest growth on record over the last 12 months. In fact, the number of rental properties available cannot meet demand. As a fallout from the pandemic and its impact on people’s jobs and livelihoods, some homeowners were forced to sell up or downsize, with private renting the only option available to meet their needs.


The new regulations we’re discussing here relate to the electrics of rented properties. So, what’s changed?


Safety standards

Though many of Electricals Online’s products can be fitted by the average Joe or committed DIY enthusiast, this may no longer be good enough for rented properties. Landlords looking to change or add electrical fixtures and fittings will now be required to employ a qualified and registered electrician to, at the very least, check the safety of the work if not fitting it themselves.


They will check things like the plug sockets and light fittings, etc., ensuring that there are no bare wires, and that the system is not overloaded, for example, nor evidence of any fire hazards. Once the electrics are deemed to be compliant, this must be recorded in a report that is subsequently given to the tenants.


These changes are on top of new rules brought in during 2020; these stated that the electrics in rented properties should be professionally checked by an appropriately qualified contractor every five years. Should these important checks not occur, the landlord in question could face a fine of up to £30,000, besides any private compensation claims from their tenants if they suffer injury or harm as a result of the landlord’s negligence.


Appliances

The new rules apply to a property’s electrical fixtures and fittings and do not extend to any moveable appliances at the address. However, whilst it’s not a legal requirement to check the safety of appliances—such as a fridge, washing machine or television—it’s a good idea for landlords to engage a PAT testing professional to verify their safety. Always better to be safe than sorry.


Access issues

In some (unfortunate) cases, access to the property to carry out an electrical safety check may be difficult. As long as the landlord can provide evidence of their attempts to contact the tenant and gain access, it’s unlikely that they will be found in breach of the regulations.


Sometimes, the local authority may request a copy of the electrical report.


Remedial work

If the electrician recommends any further work or investigation, this must be carried out within 28 days of their findings. If something is deemed dangerous, they may even insist on a shorter timeframe for the rectifying of the issue.


The fallout, if the electrics within the property are not safe, could prove much more costly than simply adhering to these new regulations. All products on the Electricals Online website have at least a year’s manufacturers’ guarantee—some may carry more than this.