Property sector bodies have warned the government to pause new property licensing schemes and routine electrical inspections for six months or risk increasing the spread of Covid.

Safeagent and London Property Licensing say this isn’t the time for council officials to be visiting rented properties to prepare licence applications or for electricians to do routine electrical testing.

All occupied private rented homes in England will need an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) by 1st April – an estimated 4.5 million households – involving hours spent by workmen inside each property.

Despite government advice last year that there should be a pause in new additional and selective licensing schemes, some councils have resumed them.

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Safeagent and London Property Licensing are now calling for a further six-month moratorium on approving any new selective licensing schemes.

Six-month pause

They also want councils to impose a six-month pause on making any new additional and/or selective licensing schemes designations, as well as to review whether scheme designations made, but not yet in force, should be withdrawn or the implementation date paused.

They add that the extension of the Electrical Safety Standards regulations to existing tenancies should be delayed by six months, until 1st October.

Propertymark agrees that many local authorities have continued to push ahead with licensing schemes which is not helping to minimise the risk and spread of the virus.

It says that with some agents furloughed or continuing to work from home, they can’t access relevant paperwork and documentation to complete licensing scheme applications and process fees.

And it adds that if landlords who can’t afford the license fee remove their property from the market, tenants will be forced to seek new homes, putting people at risk and spreading rather than stemming the pandemic.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I believe the licence fee should be abolished. Yes i understand that a gas and electric/fire certificate are required for each property . But what is this 6/7 hundred pounds hmo fee about? and on each flat ?? Which was the main reason rent skyrocketed up to 35/40% soon as the license skeam went about . Many landlords who had no choice but to increase the rent. Tenants damage property, many dont pay rent on time or not pay at all which cost up £4000 or more to get them evicted and the repair the property when they leave adding another £3000. If housings picks on the landlords then the landlords have only 2 choices sell or increase rent! And who suffers the generations to come who are far from being home owners. Because of the lack of jobs and this was before covid which made it even worse!. And now this C energy rating? Again these properties and 200 years olds adding more cost to the owners who again have know choice to increase rent again Which tenants will have to move miles from there work place to cheaper areas which can cost most there jobs! Adding travel cost will go up and many parents will have to move children from School to school! The licence fee needs tobe abolished

  2. I have a vulnerable tenant who is terrified of the plumber going into the property let alone an electrician who will be in the property for hours. This lady does not have anywhere to go to whilst work is carried out. It would help so much if the electrical safety certificate could be delayed until all have been vaccinated.

  3. I think it is a complete rip-off that having already shelled out over £600 on a license just 4 years ago, (which was supposed to be for 5 years) we are now being forced to pay it again to simply renew a license on properties which are in a 100% perfect condition.
    There are no other words for it but “legalised robbery” and it will without doubt, be just another nail in the demise of the private rental market.
    It is time the idiots who dream up these schemes wake up to reality and realise what a struggle it is for landlords to keep their heads above water. Decent and honest landlords are suffering for those who aren’t.
    We have already had to pay a further £68.00 simply to apply for a renewal of our current license! Nothing but a scam!

    • Very True. What a robbery. It took them 2 years and 1/2 to come back with a draft certificate saying that they will inspect the property soon. Not to mention all the issues it has created for additional paperwork needed from the freeholder. I’d rather give that money to my tenants as a discount.

  4. Its all part of the master plan.
    Pushing harder on the finances of the private LL to force us out and leave it open for the big corporates.
    Sadly its just the latest of many hoops to jump through, nothing surprises me any more i’m afraid

  5. Do you really expect any common sense from Government Departments?.
    It’s where People go who can’t hold down a job in the real World.

  6. The new electrical safety certificate requirement for completion by 1st April must be delayed. My tenant does not want anyone in their property, unless a dire emergency, and has nowhere else to go. She cannot go to neighbours nor any friends property and has no family that are in the area but cannot legally go there either and too cold to have to sit/stand in the communal garden.
    She is not of an age to be vaccinated yet and even is she was, vaccination does not give immunity, only hopefully, stops one getting it so badly that you have to be put on a ventilator / be admitted to hospital.
    If electricians are going in to other peoples homes they are quite likely to be spreading the virus!

    As for Landlord Licence schemes the money is extortionate for the service provided. And why should Landlords police for ASB. I for one would not and would call the Police or Local Authority, its their job.
    I had reason to seek the help of the local authority, when the tenant stopped paying (before Covid) their rent. I was told that they (Croydon) do not assist Landlords and the scheme was to only help tenants; contrary to their introductory information prior to setting up the Scheme. I said if that was the case then I would be taking them to court as I had documentary evidence from them that their scheme WOULD be to help and advise both tenants AND LANDLORDS. Got seen by several people pretty quickly after that but the tenants has since vacated owing several thousands of pounds in unpaid rent and left the place in a disgusting sate. She is still using the address 2 years later for DVLA, credit debts etc etc.

    I’m selling up! Had enough and so there will be 2 less properties for the rental market.

    • Fully agree, we’ve had our CP12 redone recently, our usual, great, gas engineer – was waiting until lockdown ended.

      Eventually, I was recommended a good one, again, as all back up engineers not interested; family guys protecting their own, understandable, but a couple I contacted, worryingly, calmly stated they’re not interested/are ignoring any recommendations, even not wear a simple face mask, which is to protect others from them, its little wonder we’re in this mess, the human race will be humanities downfall, thank god it’s not Ebola!!

  7. Its crazy and on the 1st May 2020, somebody with mental illness doesn’t have to pay rent. The government just want us to raise rents. I have just refurbished a house and raising the rent from £540 to £720. Tenants and gaurantors will loose out. Its not worth trying to help the community the government is committed to use not helping the community. Renting will be for the select few.

    I went to legal and generals properties as corporate landlords the rent starts at £1200.00 a month in Manchester how can the lower end of the market rent. They will never leave their parents homes!

  8. House Insurance: During the first lockdown the electrical safety certificate was due for renewal but our tenant was unhappy to let workmen in. As the house insurance requests current gas and electrical certificates I rang our insurers to explain and they noted it on our file, but said we needed to have up to date electrical certificate when insurance was due for renewal or they could not insure the house. Worth checking with insurance provider or you may not be covered!

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