New Regulations Regarding Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector

In January 2019, the Government announced plans to initiate new electrical safety regulations for private rental properties in England. They are to be rolled out and enforced between 2020 and 2021. The private rented sector is a major, and vital section of England's housing market.

Being the second largest tenure in England, this sector has almost doubled in size over the last ten years. It now houses 4.7 million households, which is a substantial 20% of all households.

Recommendations of the Electrical Safety Standards Working Group

A consultation exercise on electrical safety in the private rented sector took place back in 2018. Comments and views were invited to be expressed following recommendations of the Electrical Safety Standards Working Group. They recommended that five yearly mandatory electrical installation checks for private rented properties should be introduced.

Added to their discussion was the recommendation that a competent person scheme be implemented. Extra safety measures were to be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.

The consultation spanned almost two months and received 582 responses from a multitude of organisations and individuals associated with the sector. It included electricians, individual landlords and tenants, landlord associations, local authorities, as well as housing charities and fire and rescue ambassadors. With the majority of respondents in favour of most of the recommendations, the Government announced that regulations would indeed be introduced. This would require private landlords to undertake five yearly safety checks of electrical installations in their properties.

Main Electrical Safety Questionnaire Results

·        Do you agree that landlords should be required by law to arrange safety checks of electrical installations in private rented sector residential properties? [Yes – 426] [No – 132]

·        Do you agree that mandatory electrical installation checks should take place at least every five years? [Yes – 333] [No – 147]

·        Do you agree that legislative requirements should be phased in, beginning with new tenancies, followed by all existing tenancies? [Yes – 374] [No – 166]

·        Do you agree that a private rented sector electrical testing competent person scheme should be set up which would be separate from the existing Building Regulations competent person scheme? [Yes – 203] [No – 290]

 The Outcome

The Government is insistent on its commitment to tenant safety and believes that the safety of tenants is of paramount importance. Based on the wealth of information received, they have granted a transitional period that will apply in the first two years. The new requirements only apply to new private tenancies in year one, before extending to all existing private tenancies in year two.

Properties with an existing electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not be required to replace it for 5 years from its start date.

This phasing approach is based on the approach taken in Scotland in 2015. The Scottish Government implemented a similar new duty to carry out electrical safety inspections in private rented properties.

Landlords will also now be required by law to ensure that all hired inspectors are properly vetted. They must have the correct qualifications before safety inspections are undertaken.

Failure to Comply

If regulations are not properly enforced, hefty financial penalties could be sanctioned. As well as financial penalties, further sanctions may be applied for failure to comply with the mandatory five yearly electrical check. In addition, landlords are required to produce an electrical safety report at the beginning of the tenancy. Failure to do so could result in the suspension of the landlord's right to serve a section 21 notice.

Here 4U

All Services 4U are here to guide you and assist you with all your commercial and residential needs. Should you require any additional information on the new Government regulations, contact our experts on 02036270820 or at info@allservices4u.co.uk.

 

Case Study – Power Flush System

A Sunday evening request from one of our property management companies came in with basic information regarding one of their tenants heating.

After arranging a convenient time, we sent our gas safe engineer on the way to investigate the issue.  Our engineer quickly identified that a pressure release valve was faulty and causing a leak from the radiator.  The water leaking out of the radiator was filthy.

The leaking PRV was obviously causing pressure issues with the boiler, meaning the tenant was without heating or hot water.

As this was Sunday evening, we made safe the boiler, advised the tenant how to get a little hot water when he needed it and let him know that we would speak to the managing agents and arran

ge to come back as soon as possible.

We did exactly that, advised our clients that in the first instance the PRV needed to be replaced to allow the pressure to resume as normal in the boiler.  We also advised that, considering the extremely dirty water coming out of the radiator, the system should be powerflushed.  This will clean out the system leaving clean water running through the pipes, radiator and into the boiler, avoiding further damage in the future. We advised that although we believed it would be beneficial to go ahead with the powerflush, it was not a necessity and totally the landlords choice.   

Within two days we were back on site,  with  our powerflush machine, and completed the job within a few hours.

At All Services 4U Ltd, we are all about trust and integrity, and our clients know this and take our advice as they know they can rely on our expertise.

Case Study – Void Works (Housing Association) We have recently won a contract where we provide an all round maintenance service to turn around housing association void works within a short period of time and on a tight budget. One of the first specifications was sent through, works comprising: replacing the grout in the bathroom, resealing around the bath, sink & kitchen, fitting a new kitchen worktop and various other jobs. On top of this we had the locksmith work of replacing the locks, installing a door closer and a keysafe to the outside of the property. These works came in the Thursday before the August Bank Holiday weekend and the deadline was the Tuesday (day after the Bank Holiday!) Not much time to inspect site, work out and source materials and then get the job completed over what turned out to be the hottest Bank Holiday weekend record!! With exceptional organisation, and the correct understanding of what needed to do be done, we managed to get the entire specification, and with a day to spare! Our clients were so impressed with the works that three more specifications swiftly followed. This has opened us up to not only providing an excellent emergency locksmith service, but an all round maintenance service and has given us food for thought as to what our capabilities are! The future looks ‘well maintained’ for All Services 4U Ltd. For further information on our void works service, or indeed, any of our services, give us a call now on 020 3468 0414    

All Services Security Seminar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruetyDwpfGI All Services 4 U is a one-stop shop for plumbing, locksmith and security services for households, businesses and housing associations. Check out this video to see the rundown of our recent security seminar, showcasing the best tech in the industry from safes to security cameras.

Residential Block, London

We have recently had a number of the same issues at a couple of modern developments around North London. One by one, residents had been complaining about problems with their balcony doors not closing properly. On the first visit to one of these jobs, our engineer quickly worked out that the problem was with the hinges that had been used on the doors on the original build of the blocks. We then started a mighty search for these particular hinges, as they needed to be replaced like for like. These hinges originally came from Italy and are barely sourced in this country but we finally managed to find a company closer to home that could supply us by the following day. We attended site again and our engineer replaced the hinges one at a time and got the result we were looking for. Within days we were contacted by another of our clients, in a different block in North London, who had had reports from one of their tenants which sounded a very similar sort of problem. Sure enough, it was the same hinges! In total we have been in to fix four of these doors, with another few soon to follow. Great work from the engineer and the sourcing team!