Posts with tag: electrical safety

Campaign launched to prepare for new heat and smoke alarm standards in Scotland

Published On: October 5, 2021 at 9:25 am


Categories: Law News,Property News

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A new public safety campaign has been launched to help raise awareness of new heat and smoke alarm regulations coming into force across Scotland in February 2022.

Electrical trade body SELECT has produced a video to clarify what homeowners and landlords need to do to comply, in line with Scottish Government guidance.

Campaign launched to prepare for new heat and smoke alarm standards in Scotland

Iain Mason, Director of Membership & Communication at SELECT, comments: “Serving the public interest is at the heart of every professional organisation’s mission and SELECT is proud to lead the way.

“We hope the impact of this animation and other material will be to help as many people as possible get ready and comply with the new regulations before the implementation date.”

The organisation is encouraging its business members to use and share the range of resources to familiarise themselves with the new rules and help educate the public.

Bob Cairney, Director of Technical Services at SELECT, said: “Our main aim is to help the public understand what they need to do, clearly and concisely, and where to go for help if they need it. This includes stressing the importance of using a qualified electrician to carry out the work.

“We also want to develop SELECT Members’ understanding of what is required by giving them the tools they need to help their customers.”

This new standard is applicable from 1st February 2022. It requires all homes in Scotland to have a smoke alarm on every storey, including hallways and landings. It also requires a smoke alarm in the most frequented part of the house, such as the lounge, a heat alarm in the kitchen, and a carbon monoxide alarm wherever there is a fuel burning appliance.

In addition, all the heat and smoke alarms must be interlinked, either mains-powered with battery back-up or be battery powered by a tamper-proof long-life battery to ensure there is an effective warning system to keep everyone and their property safe. Those with mains-powered alarms or homeowners who cannot fit the battery-powered alarms themselves are being urged to use a qualified electrician.

Efficient electrical checks required as rental bounce continues

Published On: August 27, 2020 at 8:24 am


Categories: Law News,Lettings News

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Landlords must be prepared to deal with a high number of mandatory electrical checks, says national provider of property certificates PropCert. 

This is in response to the surge in demand for rental properties since the lettings market reopened in May, which is set to continue. Electrical checks for new tenancies became mandatory as of 1st July 2020, as part of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

PropCert says efficiency in processing electrical checks, can help to ensure contracts are granted quickly while remaining compliant with the new regulations.

Lettings boom looks set to stay

Tom Harrington, Managing Director of PropCert, says: “The surge in lettings demand appears to have extended beyond just a release of pent-up lockdown demand, becoming a sustained trend throughout the summer months.

“As we move towards autumn, which is traditionally a busy period for the market, there is nothing to suggest that high levels of market activity won’t continue as movers look to find homes which meet their new criteria and priorities.”

New tenancies mean more electrical checks

It is now a requirement for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to be carried out before the start of all new tenancies, with all fixed electrical installations inspected at least every five years by a qualified professional.

There are a range of other steps for landlords – or letting agents working on their behalf – to follow, including providing copies of EICRs to new tenants.

Harrington explains: “The new regulations mean that there is now a greater demand for professionals carrying out electrical checks than ever before. High tenant demand means that agents and landlords will be under pressure to get these checks completed quickly so moves aren’t delayed.

“Since the new rules were introduced in July, property professionals may have realised that they need to assess the electricians they work with and the processes they have in place to keep up with demand and remain compliant.”

Why agents need an efficient system in place

Harrington concludes: “Having access to a large pool of electricians is crucial as high tenant demand has a direct impact on the number of electrical checks which need processing.

“An efficient online system can help agents and landlords to manage their ever-growing workloads while knowing they are compliant with the new regulations.

“Ultimately, mandatory electrical checks have been introduced to protect tenants and landlords’ investments. Therefore, managing the process through trusted suppliers and using the services of the best-qualified electricians is in the interest of all stakeholders.”

Landlords call for an extension to safety certificates

Published On: April 20, 2020 at 8:10 am


Categories: Law News

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Landlords are calling for a six-month extension to the validity of all gas and electrical safety certificates to cover for the impact of the coronavirus.

A recent survey revealed that 38% of landlords are struggling to source maintenance contractors to undertake required work. Over a third of respondents are also having difficulties undertaking work in their properties due to self-isolation.

With tenants also concerned about letting people into their rental properties, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling for gas and electrical safety certificates expiring over the six month period from 1st April to be extended for six months. This would be in line with the Government’s approach to MOT certificates.

This would provide the time that landlords need to ensure routine, but legally binding checks, can take place at a point when the danger of spreading the virus in rental properties is at least reduced.

The NRLA is also calling on the Government to delay until next year the introduction of new routine Electrical Installation Condition Reports which are due to come into force from 1st July. These will involve inspectors checking the wiring in all rooms of a property, possibly taking a number of hours, making it impossible for tenants to properly isolate.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “Whilst landlords should ensure that urgent work to ensure properties are safe for tenants is carried out, routine maintenance and checks need to be delayed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Extending the life of gas and electrical safety certificates will protect landlords and tenants from unnecessary contact and provide landlords with legal protection from enforcement action where they are simply unable to get such work undertaken through no fault of their own.”

Will change to electrical safety regulations leave tenants at risk?

Published On: February 25, 2020 at 9:08 am


Categories: Law News

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The introduction of new electrical safety regulations raises the prospect of high-risk rental properties not being covered by a legally binding requirement for landlords to carry out regular checks.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is concerned that the changes due to come into force on 1st June 2020 will affect the standards of some rental properties. They will immediately remove the obligation for landlords to carry out electrical safety checks in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This obligation will only apply to a renewed tenancy, to begin with, and then for all others as of April 2021.

 This will leave some rental properties under no legally binding electrical safety regime for the interim period, leaving tenants without the assurance that properties are safe.

The new plans have been presented to Parliament for agreement. They contain weaker penalties for landlords failing to keep the properties they rent safe. They could also complicate the process by which local authorities can issue penalties, making them more difficult to enforce.

The RLA has now written to the Ministry of Housing to express its concerns about the loophole being created for irresponsible landlords who otherwise would not carry out these checks. The association is calling on the Government to delay the implementation of the new framework to provide time to address the problems being called.

David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said: “Good landlords don’t need to be told to carry out safety checks but these changes to regulations leave tenants vulnerable to those landlords who are not so responsible. It is essential for the safety of tenants that the loophole being created is closed and we urge the Government to delay implementation until that happens.”

Government to introduce mandatory electrical safety standards in the PRS

Published On: January 16, 2020 at 9:41 am


Categories: Law News

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Landlords may see another change to legislation during 2020, as the Government has proposed to introduce mandatory five-year electrical safety checks.

This enforcement will be known as the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. According to the Government’s publication, it is due to come into force on 1st June this year.

The regulations it includes will apply to landlords in England, specifically for:

  • All new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020
  • All existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021

If a landlord does not comply, they face a fine of up to £30,000, this publication specifies. Enforcement will be down to the local housing authority and it will be up to them to determine the exact amount fined. 

David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark has commented on the Government’s plan to introduce mandatory electrical installation inspecting and testing for all rented properties: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants. 

“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.

“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”

Mandatory Electrical Safety Checks to be Introduced “as Soon as Possible”, Government Confirms

Published On: February 21, 2019 at 10:27 am


Categories: Law News

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Mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rental sector will be introduced “as soon as possible”, a Government minister has confirmed.

Heather Wheeler MP, the Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, insisted that the Government is “working to bring regulations on mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector into force as soon as possible, subject to parliamentary approval and timetable”.

The Government responded to its consultation on electrical safety in the private rental sector in January this year. 

Wheeler has now announced that the Government will work with the industry to “produce guidance for landlords, setting out the skills and qualifications relevant to determining competence of those carrying out inspections”. 

“We further intend to work with local authorities in England as we develop the range of sanctions available to them for non-compliance,” she added.

We will continue to keep you up to date with details of the new mandatory electrical safety checks.

At the same time, the Government was questioned over whether it will introduce a nationwide registration of private landlords and their properties in England, as in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“The Government has no plans to introduce a system of national registration for private landlords,” Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth stated.

Instead, he claimed that the Government is focussed on tackling rogue landlords, referring to the national database of criminal landlords and letting agents, which was introduced in April 2018. 

Lord Bourne added that the Government is committed to making the database publicly accessible, as in London, as soon as parliamentary time allows.

He also pointed out that, unlike in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, local housing authorities in England are able to introduce selective licensing schemes in targeted areas to tackle specific problems. The Government has commissioned an independent review of the effectiveness of selective licensing, which is due to report in spring 2019.

Recently, a leading solicitor spoke out against selective licensing