From July the first, five-year safety checks will be mandatory for all new tenancies and rolled out for all existing tenancies in the spring of 2021. Landlords who fail to comply will be faced with charges of up to £30,000!
The new rules state that landlords must perform pre-tenancy and five yearly checks of all wiring and appliances. Though this is a great way to ensure the safety of tenants and the property itself, there are concerns about the timeframe. Landlords have mere months to ensure they’re complying and the system takes time. To comply property owners must:
- Have the electrical testing inspected
- Receive a written report with the results and when the next inspection must take place
- Give a copy to tenants within 28 days
- Give a copy to the local authority, if it asks for one, within seven days
- Keep a copy and give it to the person carrying out the next inspection.
If work needs to be performed on the property to meet renting requirements, these improvements must be made within 28 days, the property owner must get written confirmation that the work is done, a copy of which will be given to new tenants along with the copies of the initial report.
If landlords don’t comply, the local authority can get involved by serving a remedial notice. Once this is served, a property owner has 28 days to comply or 21 days to object to the decision. If the changes are not made within 28 days, the local authority can gain access to the property to make the changes themselves though the landlord can appeal this decision. When the local authority performs the work, they can then recover the cost from the property owner. However, if the tenants refuse access, the landlord will not be considered in breach of their duty.
It’s absolutely vital that the electrics and wiring in a property are safe and further checks are a great way to do it. However, the timeframe offered by these new regulations could cause difficulties to property management throughout the country.