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Landlords; Electrical Safety – Updates and Reminders

Posted on January 14th, 2021 -

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented
Sector (England) Regulations 2020

These Regulations apply in England to –

  • all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020; and
  • all existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021.

**note, if a pre 01 July 2020 tenancy rolls onto a statutory periodic tenancy after 01 July 2020, the Regulations will apply**

Here are a few frequently asked questions & answers from NICEIC & ELECSA;

HAS COVID-19 PROMPTED A CHANGE TO THE PRS LEGISLATION?

No, It is important to note that PRS legislation and timings have not changed. Full details on the regulations, including information relating to the steps landlords, can take if they cannot find an inspector or if they are unable to gain access to a property in normal circumstances can be viewed here; Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

WHAT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN IF LANDLORDS AND INSPECTORS ARE UNABLE TO COMPLY DUE TO COVID-19 ACCESS ISSUES?

While the regulation and the schedule hasn’t changed, MHCLG issued COVID-19 specific guidance for landlord, tenants and local authorities. Encouraging local authorities to take a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach to enforcement during COVID-19 the advice outlines reasonable steps landlords should take in the interim period.

A topline summary of this updated guidance and how it relates to PRS electrical safety checks is shown below:
• A landlord is not in breach of their duty to comply with a remedial notice if they can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.
• A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with tenants and electricians as they attempt to make arrangements to carry out the work, including any replies
• Landlords may also wish to provide other evidence which shows the electrical installation is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works. This could include the servicing record and previous condition reports.
• A landlord who has been prevented from accessing the premises will not be required to begin legal proceedings against their tenant to show that all reasonable steps have been taken to comply with their duties.

What do the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require?

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:

  • Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

MORE INFORMATION

To view the full COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities document, please see; Guidance for landlords and tenants – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Please see the SWLA trade listing for local electricians; https://www.landlordssouthwest.co.uk/tradelistings/electricians-pat-electrical-services/

Or search the following;

Information from gov.uk and NICEIC & ELECSA (electrical governing bodies)


Bailiff Enforced Evictions Ban Extended for Six Weeks (in England)

Posted on January 8th, 2021 -

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-covid-protections-for-rough-sleepers-and-renters

The ban on bailiff enforced evictions has been extended.

Renters will continue to be supported during the new national restrictions, with an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases for at least 6 weeks – until at least 21 February – with measures kept under review.

Court rules and procedures introduced in September to support both tenants and landlords will remain in place and regularly reviewed. The courts will continue to prioritise cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse in the social sector.

Landlords continue to be required to give 6-month notice periods to tenants until at least 31 March except in the most serious circumstances.

The government has changed the law in England to ensure bailiffs do not enforce evictions for 6 weeks until 22 February, with no evictions expected to 8 March at the earliest. This will be kept under review.

The only exceptions to this are for the most egregious cases – anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation, death of a tenant where the property is unoccupied, fraud, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing and extreme rent arrears equivalent to 6 months’ rent.

Guidance to support landlords and tenants in the social and private rented sectors understand the possession action process and new rules within the court system in England and Wales is available.

For those renters who require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to distribute to support renters with housing costs.


SWLA Office – Lockdown Arrangements

Posted on January 6th, 2021 -

Our office remains open as normal for telephone and email queries (office hours 10am – 3pm Monday to Friday). If you call outside of these hours, please leave a message.

We are closed for visitors to help keep members and staff as safe as possible.

Take care, from the SWLA staff and committee.


Coronavirus – New Lockdown for England from Monday 4th January 2021

Posted on January 4th, 2021 -

The following guidance should be followed immediately; the law will be updated to reflect these new rules;

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary (see above guidance for further information on what you can and cannot do). 

Landlords, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property.


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