Plea for more time for electrics tests

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Letting agent body Propertymark has warned of widespread non-compliance with incoming electrical safety requirements unless there is an extension to the implementation period.

In a letter to Housing Minister Christopher Pincher it has warned that the Coronavirus Crisis has made it extremely difficult for many landlords and agents to meet the April 2021 deadline to meet the requirements of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. These place a duty on landlords to have electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a ‘qualified and competent’ person, at least once every five years. Landlords or letting agents will be required to provide a copy of electrical safety reports to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.

Propertymark wants the deadline for compliance to be extended by 12 months.

‘Even before the regulations were passed, Propertymark raised concerns about the number of electricians available to undertake inspections and tests by the April 2021 deadline’, it said. ‘With the added complications of the pandemic and access to property, the supply chain capacity issues have not improved and therefore, to help the sector comply with the rules, Propertymark urges the UK Government to extend the requirement for the inspection and testing of fixed electrical installations on all tenancies by at least twelve months until April 2022’.

Propertymark has also asked the Government ‘to 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’.