New safety checks that landlords need to be aware of

New safety checks that landlords need to be aware of

All private rented sector landlords will be required to carry out electrical checks on any appliances supplied with their properties every five years under new legislation.

A number of new measures and guidelines have been announced by the government as part of a drive to make properties across the country safer, along with a consultation into fire safety in building regulations.

It will now be mandatory for landlords of privately rented properties to carry out electrical checks on appliances and installations in all their properties every five years, in a move which has been welcomed by many in the industry.
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Under existing rules, the landlord must ensure that the electrical system including sockets and light fittings is safe, as well as all appliances supplied such as cookers and kettles, but until now there has been no specific requirement for rechecks, apart from in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Fire safety in properties has been under the spotlight since the Grenfell Tower tragedy last summer, in which a devastating fire broke out in the high-rise residential building in West London causing the deaths of more than 70 people. The blaze, which started in a fridge-freezer in one of the flats, was exacerbated by the flammable cladding on the building, and more than 200 other buildings across the country have since been identified as being at risk due to failed cladding safety tests.

Improving safety for everyone

Speaking on the latest proposals, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government James Brokenshire said: “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their own homes. That is why I am announcing a package of measures focused on improving building safety, having listened carefully to the concerns which have been raised.

“Dame Judith’s report sets out the right framework to improve safety, but I will not hesitate to go further than the recommendations where I deem it necessary.”

“That is why I am going further than my original commitment to simply clarify the guidelines, by commencing an end-to-end technical review of the fire safety aspects of building regulations in the autumn.”

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is pressing the department for further information regarding the full scope of inspections required, how it will be regulated and enforced, who will be authorised to carry out the checks, as well as exemptions, and when the requirement will come into force.

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