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Calling all landlords! As of 25th October 2019, Sections 122 and 123 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 have come into effect. What does this mean? Put simply, it means that compulsory electrical safety tests are expected to be launched into the private rental sector soon. This will ensure stricter safety requirements in relation to the electricity supply and electrical fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord that all landlords must comply with while a tenant lives in their property.

With a Commencement Order in place, these Sections under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 now allow the Secretary of State to impose the requirement for all landlords to carry out electrical safety tests, with financial penalties for those who don’t act in accordance with the regulations.

As stated in the provision: “The Secretary of State may by regulations impose duties on a private landlord of residential premises in England for the purposes of ensuring that electrical safety standards are met during any period when the premises are occupied under a tenancy.”

While previously an obligation for those in the public sector or common residential properties, this policy is now being extended into the private sector.

What does this mean for landlords?

To ensure the safety of their tenants, the majority of landlords already have to carry out safety checks every 5 years. However, there will be new guidance on how these are carried out, and who is qualified to carry out these tests.

For landlords in the private rental sector that may not have previously carried out electrical safety tests, this Commencement Order means you will have to start preparing for these assessments to come into force. Failure to comply with the safety regulations could mean fines and even the ability to stop renting out your property, so it’s crucial that you’re well-prepared.

When will these changes come into force?

While the Act has been pushed through to the Secretary of State to make changes, these regulations are expected to come into effect in 2020. So, if you’re not prepared for your test, you don’t need to make immediate changes, but be aware of the legal updates. After all, it’s important to make sure your property is a safe place to live, regardless of any laws in place.

How can Ayers & Cruiks help?

We have a wealth of experience advising landlords on the latest regulations to follow, and we can help audit your property for the best return on investment. We’re informed of all the latest legislation and how these will affect both landlords and tenants. Need support managing your property portfolio? Call us today on 01702 343060 – we’re here to help.

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