Landlords have been warned not to expect a grace period or extension to the deadline for properties to confirm to the new electrical safety standards.
Originally, an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) was only required for new tenancies starting on or after 1st July 2020, but after 1st April this year all existing tenancies must also confirm to the new standards. Further inspections must then be carried out every 5 years.
But given the challenges of accessing properties and finding approved electricians to do the work during the pandemic, landlords and letting agents have been calling for an extension to this 1st April deadline.
But property lawyer David Smith has said this is unlikely to happen.
“I’ve been pressing the housing ministry at various meetings to grant an extension for ages and they’ve fobbed us off at every turn,” he told a webinar hosted by repair reporting platform Fixflo.
“They’ve now turned round and said there is no parliamentary time available to put through an regulations to extend the ‘time to compliance’.”
Smith (pictured) said part of the housing ministry’s position is that, if landlords can’t get access or reasonably get the work done due to Covid that will be a defence under the EIC regulations.
But he says that is not true and only applies if a local authority has served a remediation notice to a landlord.
“The housing ministry has told local authorities they should be reasonable when issuing penalties, but whether that message has got through is another matter,” he says.
“I would urge landlords to do everything they can to meet the deadline.”