Any good letting agent will ensure that landlords are aware that their property has to be electrically safe before letting it out. Whilst it is not a legal requirement (yet) to have an Electrical Safety Certificate it is a legal requirement to ensure the electrics are safe to use so it makes sense to get the certificate from a reputable and qualified electrician to carry this out which should be renewed every five years. And as it happens, new rules are to be introduced to ensure mandatory electrical inspections on private rental properties are carried out by competent and qualified inspectors.
The government will also publish new guidance which sets out the minimum level of competence and qualifications necessary for those carrying out these important inspections, giving landlords and tenants peace of mind that the property is safe from electrical faults.
MP Heather Wheeler, Minister for Housing and Homelessness says: “We need to do more to protect tenants. These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes. It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks.
“The new guidance will provide clear accountability at each stage of the inspection process – of what is required and whose responsibility it is – but without placing excessive cost and time burdens on landlords.”
The new measure was prompted by a consultation on Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector, which ran from February 17 to April 16 2018, and received 582 responses from a range of organisations, including landlord associations, housing charities and local authorities, as well as individuals including electricians, landlords, tenants and fire and rescue representatives.
The government announced in July 2018 that regulations would be introduced requiring private sector landlords to undertake five yearly safety checks of electrical installations in their properties.
“We intend to introduce new legislation on a phased basis, starting with new tenancies, as soon as Parliamentary time allows” the government now says.
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government says penalties for non-compliance are likely to include a range of sanctions, with local authorities being given discretion to decide which is most appropriate in a particular case.
As a lettings agent we are bound by legal requirements but also best practices and if landlords are not prepared to ensure that the electrics are safe in a property then we are not obliged to act for them.
And in other news as it is still Veganuary, we came across the new soon-to-be-on-trend “Vegan Leather”. This new and exciting product has been brewed, yes brewed, by Modern Meadow, a company set up 8 years ago to bridge a gap in the market (and of course help to save the planet). Andras Forgacs, Chief Executor and founder says “It’s a massive market with massive shortcomings. You have to raise an animal in a field using up water, gas and creating greenhouse emissions and then transfer the hide half way around the world.”
Apart from the environmental harm, there is huge wastage in the industry. Up to half of a cow-hide can be wasted due to imperfections such as bites. he product is created from yeast cells that are fermented in a similar way to beer to create collagen, the protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity. From here the collagen is purified and assembled into unique material structures that can be adapted in various ways depending on its purpose.
The cagey businessman has not confirmed what the product will be but assures style and creativity and an item that will be more durable and less harmful than cow-hide.
Good news say L&R !