The government has been warned that the huge task of ensuring rented homes comply with its new electrical safety standards is unlikely to be achieved by the deadline of 1st April 2021.

That’s when rented properties must comply with the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

These went live in June this year but landlords or their letting agents were given until the 1st April. But trade association ARLA Propertymark is now asking for a 12-month extension to this deadline.

A letter sent to housing minister Christopher Pincher yesterday by the organisation’s campaigns manager Timothy Douglas does not mince its words, saying that an ‘anticipated and widespread failure in compliance’ will follow unless his warnings are heeded.

These include:

  • Half of letting agents canvassed in a recent poll said they had 60 or more properties on their books that needed all their electrical installations inspected and checked before April 1st.
  • The various regional and national lockdowns this year have slowed and complicated the work needed to upgrade properties to the required standard.
  • Many tenants are reluctant to allow tradespeople into their homes during the pandemic – particularly as electricians often need to spend up to four hours in a property to test, inspect and upgrade the electrical installations.
  • There is a shortage of qualified electricians available to do the work and current supply chain issues make sourcing the correct equipment difficult.

“On behalf of our members, I ask that you consider the benefits to tenants, landlords and letting agents of extending the requirements for existing tenancies in order to ensure that landlords and letting agents can meet their legal obligations,” the letter says.

Read more about electrical safety.
Read more about recent regulation changes.

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