With the PRS deadline of April 2021 fast approaching, we have engaged with the NICEIC our governing body who have taken advice from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to obtain clear guidance for electrical contractors, landlords and tenants regarding compliance during COVID-19. A summary of their findings can be seen below:
HAS COVID-19 PROMPTED A CHANGE TO THE PRS LEGISLATION?
No, It is important to note that PRS legislation and timings have not changed. Full details on the regulations, including information relating to the steps landlords, can take if they cannot find an inspector or if they are unable to gain access to a property in normal circumstances can be viewed here.
WHAT ACTION WILL BE TAKEN IF LANDLORDS AND INSPECTORS ARE UNABLE TO COMPLY DUE TO COVID-19 ACCESS ISSUES?
While the regulation and the schedule hasn’t changed, MHCLG has issued new COVID-19 specific guidance for landlord, tenants and local authorities. Encouraging local authorities to take a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach to enforcement during COVID-19 the advice outlines reasonable steps landlords should take in the interim period.
A topline summary of this updated guidance and how it relates to PRS electrical safety checks is shown below:
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.
STILL NEED MORE INFORMATION?
To view the full COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities document, please click here.
RJA Electrical Services Ltd
01795 484 115