Introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks for UK landlords set for 2020?

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The Residential Landlords Association has warned its members that landlords in the UK will soon have to ensure that the electrical wiring and equipment in rental properties is safe before the property can be rented.

While the Housing and Planning Act 2016 recommended that the UK government force landlords into making electrical safety checks, it didn’t implement the regulation itself. Instead, it gave the Secretary of State the ability to introduce the rules at a later date, and while no such plans have been announced by the government just yet, the RLA believe that they’ll be coming sooner rather than later.

In a blog post on its website, the RLA admitted that the regulations will likely come into effect by late 2020, and is ensuring that its members understand what’s needed of them. Thankfully for landlords, the regulations are likely to initially only target new tenancies.

The regulations won’t just be at the start of a tenancy, however, as the Housing and Planning Act 2016 recommended ensuring that landlords made electrical safety checks to their properties every five years. This is great news for the electrical industry, which will gain work from fixing any issues, while it’s also good news for tenants who will be able to rest easy in knowing that their home is safe.

The Residential Landlords Association has been supportive of the government’s plans to introduce a five year electrical safety check, but it is worried about the fact that local authorities will be in charge of its enforcement.

“Further loading of enforcement responsibility onto local authorities does not seem all that sensible when they are already overloaded and underfunded,” noted RLA policy director David Smith.

“A failure to enforce yet another safety obligation will simply leave tenants with criminal landlords unprotected while adding costs to better landlords whose electrical installations are, in the main, already safe.”