Advice for Private Landlords during the coronavirus pandemic
Landlords and HMO managers
While people are staying at home, they may be tempted to visit with house sharers or neighbours.
Please make sure, as far as you can, tenants are aware of and following the Governments National Guidance and the importance of social distancing.
As a Landlord if you have been served a Legal notice under the Housing Act 2004 then you can ask for a period of suspension, for example due to difficulties in completing works.
Any requests must be in writing and state the reasons why you want a suspension.
The new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
These will apply to all new tenancies on 1 July 2020 and for existing tenancies on 1 April 2021.
Landlords will be required to:
- ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period of a tenancy
- have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person, at least every five years, or more frequently if the most recent report requires this
- provide a copy of the report (known as the Electrical Safety Condition Report or EICR) to their tenants, and to the local authority if requested
- if the EICR requires investigative or remedial works, landlords will have to carry this out
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
Landlords are required to have an annual gas safety check by an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register and to keep a record of each safety check.
Further advice can be found on the Gas Safe Register’s website.
The Government has issued the following guidance on compliance with these regulations:
Both regulations are clear on the issue of compliance. If a landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with their duty under the regulations, they are not in breach of the duty. With regards to the Electrical Safety Regulations a landlord would not be in breach of the duty to comply with a remedial notice and with regards to the Gas Safety Regulations a landlord would not be liable for an offence.
A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with their tenants and with electricians as they tried to arrange the work, including any replies they have had. Landlords may also want to provide other evidence they have that the installation, appliance or flue is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works. This could include the servicing record and previous landlord gas safety check record.