Landlords could get £30,000 fine for renting out home with dangerous electrics – The Sun
LANDLORDS who fail to carry out electrical safety tests on properties they rent out could be fined up to £30,000, under new rules as part of a government crackdown.
Homeowners in the private rented sector will have to make sure a qualified electrician checks all wires and sockets in their properties before a tenancy begins.
They must also make sure electrics continue to be inspected at least once every five years, although the regulations won't be extended to social housing.
The regulation changes have been set out in a draft bill put forward by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.
It will still need to be passed by the House of Commons and the Lords but it is expect to go through now that there is a Conservative majority.
If passed, the rules will come into force for new tenancies from July 1, 2020 and for existing rental agreements from April 1, 2021.
What to do if your landlord won't carry out repairs
IF a landlord is taking unreasonably long to carry out repairs then tenants can take them to court.
Of course, most tenants would rather not take this action and work things out between themselves.
If a tenant does need to do this then they apply to the local county court.
The court can force a landlord to carry out a fix and pay compensation.
If the court finds in favour of the the tenant then the landlord could be liable for some or all of the legal costs.
Tenants are also able to complain to Environmental Health or a relevant landlord association, but only if their landlord is a member.
For more advice, visit the Citizens Advice website.
Over half of accidental domestic fires in the UK are caused by electrical faults, according to Electrical Safety First (ESF).
The charity hopes the regulations will protect millions of renters from the risk of unsafe electrics.
Enforcing the regulations will bring England in line with Scotland where compulsory electrical safety checks are already in place.
Martyn Allen, from ESF says the regulation change will give tenants the power to hold their landlords to account.
He added: "It is now vital this new regulation has teeth and that the enforcement body has the resources to act when necessary, to protect the tenant."
David Cox from ARLA Propertymark, which represents over 9,000 landlords, also welcomes the rule change.
He said: "Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections."
Mandatory electrical safety checks are the latest in a string of regulation changes introduced by the government in a crackdown on the industry.
A new law was introduced last year that lets tenants sue landlords over cold and mouldy homes.
While earlier this month, the government announced it was piloting a series of sensors in rented homes that detect damp and cold.
The biggest move in the rental industry last year saw a ban on landlord and letting agency fees, stopping millions of renters from being ripped off.
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