The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
The new regulations came into force on 1 June 2020.
The regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants and to their local authority if requested.
This means that all landlords now have to do what good landlords already do: make sure the electrical installations in their rented properties are safe.
Electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1 July 2020. Checks must also be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1 April 2021.
You can access the full details in the Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector.
Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:
Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
Where the report shows that corrective or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
Supply written confirmation that the work has been completed from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion.
A range of new powers under Housing and Planning Act 2016
Changes for landlords, property managers and letting agents. The Housing and Planning Act 2016 has made a number of changes to the licensing and regulation of rented properties in the private rented sector.
Civil penalties (financial penalty)
New laws have been introduced in April 2017 to give councils additional powers to deal with rogue landlords and agents under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The new powers allow local authorities to issue a financial penalty notice to any landlords or agents who do not comply with the Housing Act 2004.
For the first time, English local authorities will be able to impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a range of housing offences, including:
failure to comply with a housing improvement or overcrowding notice
failure to have the correct licence for a property that needs licensing
failure to comply with the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) management regulations.
Previously councils only could prosecute for the above non-compliant activities but with introducing the financial penalty, the council have additional powers to pursue any non-compliance through two routes of either prosecution, or financial penalty.
Rogue landlord databases
Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, a local housing authority must make an entry on the database where a landlord or property agent has received a banning order. They have the discretion to make entries where a landlord or property agent has been convicted of a banning order offence or has received 2 or more civil penalties within a 12 month period.
The database of rogue landlords and property agents came into force on 6 April 2018.
Visit central government's website for more on the rogue landlord and property agents register.
Greater Local Authority rogue landlord and agent checker
In addition, the Greater Local Authority (GLA) has implemented a rogue landlord and agent checker which is designed for London local authorities to input and share any information of enforcement/legal proceedings on any landlords.
Additional records of rogue landlords and agents are also recorded via the GLA and further information can be found on the GLA website.
Banning orders for landlords and property agents under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 provides new powers which permit local housing authorities to seek banning orders where landlords or property agents have been convicted of a banning order offence.
For further information please visit the landlords and banning orders for landlords sites.
Rent Repayment Orders
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 extended rent repayment orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a banning order and certain other specified offences.
RROs were only previously available in respect of licensable but unlicensed properties and tenants were unable to lodge a claim unless the local authority had first prosecuted the landlord.
RRO applications can be made for a much wider range of offences including:
illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers
using violence to secure entry and
failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.
Right to rent immigration checks
Before renting out a room or a property, private landlords and agents are legally required to check the immigration status of:
- the tenant or lodger
- any other adults who will be living there.
They don't have to check the status of children under 18, or guests who stay in your home but don't pay rent.
The checks only apply to agreements that started on or after 1 February 2016.
To check that the tenant and members of their household have the right to rent and for more information visit the immigration checks page on GOV.UK.
The Tower Hamlets Landlords and Agents Forum meets three times a year. It is an opportunity to meet with colleagues, competitors and council officers and to discuss issues that impact on your work as landlords, letting agents, and managing agents in Tower Hamlets. Meetings are a way to hear about and influence council policy and to learn about the latest changes in housing law.
If you would like to register on our invitation list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme provides accreditation, training and on-going professional development to landlords and agents. With over 32000 members, LLAS is the biggest and most established scheme of its kind. LLAS provides a one-day basic training course, covering all aspects of tenancy and property management. LLAS also offers additional training opportunities specialising in particular areas of interest. Landlords and agents receive a Landlord Guide USB following their training. Training courses take place throughout London including on a regular basis in Tower Hamlets.
Tower Hamlets Private Renters’ Charter
The Tower Hamlets Private Renters' Charter sets out the standards the law demands from all private landlords and agents in accessible language. The council and every organisation signed up to the charter aims to support mainstream landlords and agents as well as tenants by making sure that every rented room, flat or house in Tower Hamlets meets these standards – and by driving out the criminals who won’t obey the law.
The Private Licence Agreement (PLA)
Private Licence Agreement (PLA), is whereby, Tower Hamlets Council signs a ‘Head Licence Agreement’ with private Landlords or Managing Agents to use residential properties on an ongoing basis. These properties are then let by the council to homeless families in need of temporary accommodation.
If your property meets our standards and you are accepted on our PLA scheme, the rent will be paid directly by the Council to the Landlord or the Managing Agent. The rent is guaranteed for the period the property is occupied.
The agreement can be terminated with 28 days’ notice from either party
What are the Benefits of the PLA Scheme?
No management or hidden fees
No marketing costs
No introduction/admin fee for renting your property
Able to claim for malicious damage caused by the tenants (T & Cs apply)
Guaranteed rent paid directly by the Council
Constant supply of tenants
No long term contractual tie-in
No risk of rent arrears, the council pays you even if the tenants doesn’t pay us
No risk of housing benefit claw back
Free Council backed legal action if any repossession action is required (T & Cs apply)
Free tenancy support service and contract sign-up
Minimal void periods
What rent will I receive for my property?
The rent your property attracts depends on the location and size of your property. Generally speaking, properties within Tower Hamlets and central London command higher rents compared to properties around the outer parts of London and surrounding areas.
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