Northampton Landlords: Consider Electrical Safety Checks

23rd January 2020

Northampton Landlords: Consider Electrical Safety Checks

There is no getting away from the importance of safety and security in the rental sector, and landlords must ensure they provide tenants with satisfactory lodgings. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, which was introduced in 2019, provides tenants with the opportunity to sue landlords if a rental property doesn’t meet expectations. However, in 2020, landlords in Northampton should place greater focus on electrical safety checks.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 has yet to be approved by the House of Commons and the House of Lords, but there should not be any issues or problems with this.

1st July 2020 is the important date

Therefore, landlords across the country must prepare themselves for new regulations which come into effect from 1 July 2020. All new tenancies which begin on or after this date, need to have an electrical certificate for the property. The work must be carried out by a registered electrician, and the certificate will likely last for five years.

In some cases, the report may recommend the review process of the next certification takes place in less than five years. If this is the case, landlords should follow the date which falls first.

Landlords who have existing tenancies in place should note the regulations apply to existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. No doubt, some landlords will relax, thinking this is a long way away. However, things can change in the rental market. If a tenant decides to move out, and the new tenancy begins from June, the new regulations will be in place.

It is best for landlords to be proactive when it comes to managing their rental property. Also, if any problems arise and work must be carried out, it is best to do this work with some leeway, rather than when tenants are looking to move in.

Landlords must ensure remedial work is carried out

If a landlord is told to carry out remedial work, they should do so in 28 days. However, if the report states work must be carried out in less time, the landlord should follow the date which falls first. Once remedial work has been undertaken, landlords should receive written confirmation. A copy of this confirmation should be provided to tenants.

As for the paperwork, landlords should provide tenants with a copy of the post-check certificate. When a new tenant moves into the rental property, landlords should provide the tenant with a copy before the tenancy begins. During the pre-letting phase, if a prospective tenant requests a copy of the certificate, the landlord must provide them with a copy within 28 days.

If the local authority requests a copy of the electrical safety check certificate, landlords should provide a copy within seven days. Bearing in mind local authorities have the power to impose a financial penalty on landlords, landlords should comply with these requests. The penalty for landlords can be up to £30,000; so it is a significant sum of money.

If you are a landlord in Northampton, and you need assistance managing your rental property, please get in touch. There has been a significant number of regulations imposed on landlords of late, but this is an important matter. We are happy to offer guidance in this matter, so please get in touch.