Landlords need to act soon to make sure their rental properties meet new electrical wiring standards.
Jones & Co Solicitors is advising landlords of new legislation that requires all residential tenancies apart from holiday lettings to meet the 2018 IEEE wiring regulations.
Landlord and tenant law expert James Murray said: “For all new tenancies from 1 July 2020, landlords will need to have an electrical inspection at the property and give a report to the tenants. They will need to have done this for all tenancies, new or existing, by 1 April 2021.
“A qualified electrician must do the work and provide a report, which has to be given to all new tenants before they move in. And if a potential tenant asks for this report, even if they have not yet signed the tenancy agreement, the landlord has to supply it within 28 days of a written request.
“It is likely that many electrical installations do not meet these new standards at the moment, because the 2018 IEEE regulations are significantly different to the previous regulations. If work is required, landlords may only have a few weeks or months to get their rental properties up to standard.
“If any rental properties are likely to see a change in tenants from July onwards, landlords would be wise to have inspections and any work done now so that they are ready in time.
“Local authorities can ask for a copy of the electrical report and landlords will need to provide this within seven days of their request. If properties do not meet the electrical installation standards, the local authority can serve an urgent notice for work to be carried out immediately, if the situation is serious.
“Landlords served with a notice by the local authority have 21 days to make representations to the local authority, or they must carry out the improvements within 28 days of being served with the notice.
“As well as having the right to carry out work themselves if necessary and claim the cost back from the landlord, local authorities can issue a civil penalty to any landlord who has not complied with these duties. These penalties could be up to a maximum of £30,000.
“Landlords are unlikely to be able to blame letting agents for any failure to carry out work or have the inspection done, as the regulations do not appear to allow this. Landlords need to understand that they are likely to be held responsible for the condition of electrical installations and act now to make sure all their properties are ready.”