PRS deadline approaching: what you need to knowWith the 1 April deadline fast approaching for all properties in the private rented sector in England to have a valid EICR/ EIC in place, there has been an increase in the number of enquiries relating to the legislation.
As such, we want to provide you with information to support conversations you may be having with your customers.
When legislation was introduced, the expectation was that all properties in the private rental sector in England would have a valid EICR or EIC in place by April 1, 2021.
Of course, COVID-19 has impacted the realities of delivering this objective. However, given the regulation's safety-critical nature, the Government has clearly stated they will not alter or delay the legislation's implementation.
What does this mean for contractors?
Providing health and safety measures are in place; electrical contractors can continue to undertake electrical work if the occupier/tenant/ landlord are happy for work to proceed.
Landlords (or their agents) are responsible for ensuring that properties have valid EICRs/EICs in place.
While the planned implementation of the legislation has not altered, MHCLG has written general guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities on renting in the context of COVID-19.
The guidance sets out MHCLG's expectation that a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach to enforcement is taken in light of COVID-19 and the impact this may have on landlords' ability to comply with regulatory requirements.
SUMMARY OF GUIDANCE -
A landlord is not in breach of their duty to comply with a remedial notice if they can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.
A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with tenants and electricians as they attempt to make arrangements to carry out the work, including any replies.
Landlords may also wish to provide other evidence which shows the electrical installation is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works. This could include the servicing record and previous condition reports.
A landlord who has been prevented from accessing the premises will not be required to begin legal proceedings against their tenant to show that all reasonable steps have been taken to comply with their duties.