An implementation date has not been set yet, but landlords will be given at least six months to familiarise themselves with the new legislation before it comes into force. A transitional period will apply for two years. In year one, all new private tenancies will be affected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within scope.
Properties that already have a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not need to replace it until five years have passed since it was issued.
Agents must ensure that any inspectors hired to issue an EICR hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.
Arla have stated they welcome the requirement for inspectors to hold the correct qualification and a level of competency, as they have previously called for a competent person scheme specific to private rented sector electrical testing.
The Government must ensure that there is sufficient time for practical implementation to take place. There will be a limited number of practitioners qualified to complete the checks. The rules need to be easy to understand and comply with, for both property professionals and their tenants.
Finally, letting agents are dealing with unprecedented levels of change over coming months and the pressure on the private rented sector to deliver against all of the requirements should not be underestimated.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments on the announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) on mandatory electrical inspections for privately rented properties:
“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. The industry has a very busy year ahead with mandatory client money protection coming into force, the tenant fees ban taking effect, and the prospect of anti-money laundering regulations being extended to lettings; it cannot withstand any further changes this year.”