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At the beginning of this year, the government announced that it would be passing new legislation about electrical safety testing in private rental properties in England. Although the new rules haven’t come into force yet, now is a good time to start thinking about what will be required of landlords when compulsory electrical safety tests are introduced, and what you can do now to prepare.

The new requirements

The new legislation was announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in January of this year. It calls for compulsory electrical safety tests to be carried out on all private rental properties every 5 years. It will be up to landlords to organise these checks, and to ensure that the person carrying them out is a qualified, certified professional. David Cox, Chief Executive of professional lettings body ARLA Propertymark, says, “We’ve had mandatory gas safety checks for years, and therefore it is logical to extend similar checks to electrical safety. However, there may not be enough qualified inspectors to cope with demand from the whole industry in a short period of time, and therefore we will need a long lead time so landlords can meet the requirements.”

When will the rules be implemented?

The new legislation has not been finalised by the government, so 5-year electrical safety tests are not mandatory for private landlords yet. Fortunately, there will be plenty of time to comply with the legislation when it does come into force: there will be a six-month period when it is passed for everybody affected to get used to the new legislation. There will also be a ‘transitional period’ for the first two years, where the new rules will only apply to new rental tenancies in the first year, and then to all of them after that.

What you can do now

You can prepare for the new legislation by arranging for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on your rental property. This is an electrical safety test carried out by a qualified electrician, which will certify that the electrics and appliances in your property are safe. Doing this now could help you to get ahead of the new legislation and the surge in demand for electricians when it comes into force. The good news is that you will not need to redo the EICR when the new rules are passed by the government – it will be valid for 5 years from the start date.

Do you have a property to rent in Bristol? Contact Gough Quarters today to find out how we can help you through the letting process.

Photo by Swabdesign_official on Unsplash

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