Leading industry figure David Alexander of lettings platform Apropos says despite NLA doubts about how it can be implemented, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 should be embraced.

A leading property industry figure has said that landlords in England who oppose the looming mandatory electrical safety checks are ‘deluding themselves’.

Landlords are being encouraged to embrace the new electrical safety rules for the greater good of the private rented sector.

Mandatory five-year electrical safety checks to match gas safety regulations are expected to come into force in July as part of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

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“Anyone who opposes their introduction on the grounds of cost or over-regulation is deluding themselves if they think that they are a good landlord,” says David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos.

“Safety may not be cheap, but it is essential and greater regulation of the sector will improve standards which will, in turn, improve the private rented sector.”

If introduced, the changes would apply from 1st July for new tenancies and from 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies. Then, all electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations would be signed off in a report by a qualified electrician, shown at the start of each tenancy and renewed every five years.

Repairs will need to be done within 28 days and, if landlords fail to comply, they face a fine of up to £30,000.

Adds Alexander: “Ensuring that electrical fittings have the same level of safety as gas is long overdue and all credible property management companies and landlords will agree with the introduction of these regulations and ensure that their properties are compliant.”

But the National Landlords Association fears the current draft regulations could mean that almost all properties will not meet the new standards and that properties built before mid-2019 will need to undertake unnecessary installation work.

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