What landlords need to know about new electrical safety regulations
It’s time to refresh your properties and get ahead of the curve where your electricals are concerned. It’s always been beneficial and prudent to have thorough and regular electrical inspections, but with new government legislation coming into effect this month, it’s a great opportunity to tick this important item off your to-do list.
Property management at its best is all about staying ahead of the game – and your electricals are no exception. Being proactive with your maintenance and inspections saves you money in the long-run, ensuring that any issues with your properties are resolved before they worsen and require more extensive and involved professional support.
What the new regulations mean for you.
In short, these new requirements mean you’ll need new inspection and testing across your properties. The consequence? A fine of up to £30,000. The changes kicked into effect on 01 July this year for new tenancies and have been in effect for existing ones since 01 April. The main driving goal for them is to enhance tenant safety – a hot topic in recent months and years.
You’ll need inspections at least every five years.
So, let’s go over the requirements and what they mean for your processes and ways of working. The main takehome here is that your electrical installations will need to be inspected by a certified professional every five years at least, although we recommend having this performed more often.
You’ll also need to supply copies of test reports and inspections to any new or existing tenants – and your local authority if they request it from you. You’ll need to give existing and prospective tenants this information within 28 days and your local authority within seven. For new tenants, you just need to pass this on to them before they move in. Your report also needs to clarify when the next inspection is due and planned.
Why it’s better to get inspected more often.
Electrical hazards are serious enough; accidents occur in private properties every year in the UK simply because faulty and unsafe equipment is in use and hasn’t been caught by an inspection. This can be disastrous for your business as a landlord, damaging your brand image and reliability in the eyes of your tenants – not to mention legal liability for injury.
Beyond that, though, there’s the tried and true fact which separates a good landlord from a great one: a proactive attitude. One of the more overlooked benefits of an inspection is that you’ll get a professional generally giving you advice on how to upgrade and maintain your electricals at no additional cost over the fee for the inspection.
This is a big deal – if you choose to take advantage. It’s an opportunity for you to invest in areas of your properties that need it. Better yet, electrical inspections will tend to drum up recommendations that are free or of low cost to implement, such as energy-saving upgrades and swaps to new hardware.
This is a way for you to benefit from essentially free advice that will trim your operating and maintenance costs and protect you from any unpleasant, expensive incidents and breakdowns. You’ll have a smoother operation as time passes, you’ll minimise risk and you’ll likely see your bottom line looking healthier as time goes on. It can even become a selling point for your properties that you can use to convince prospective tenants to rent with you. That’s a real list of tangible benefits for going a step beyond the new government legislations that are in effect. And it doesn’t even have to cost the earth. Win-win.