The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling for a six month extension to the validity of all gas and electrical safety certificates to cover for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This comes in response to a survey revealing that 38% of landlords are finding it difficult to source maintenance contractors to undertake required work, while just over a third are having difficulties undertaking work in their properties because of either themselves, or their tenants, self-isolating.
The NRLA also wants the government to take into consideration the fact that many tenants are currently concerned about letting people into their rental properties.
A six month extension would make it easier for many landlords to ensure that routine, but legally binding checks, can take place at a point when the danger of spreading the virus in rental properties is at least reduced.
The NRLA is also calling on the government to delay until next year the introduction of new routine Electrical Installation Condition Reports which are due to come into force from 1st July.
This will involve inspectors checking the wiring in all rooms of a property, possibly taking a number of hours, making it impossible for tenants to properly isolate.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, commented: “Whilst landlords should ensure that urgent work to ensure properties are safe for tenants is carried out, routine maintenance and checks need to be delayed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Extending the life of gas and electrical safety certificates will protect landlords and tenants from unnecessary contact and provide landlords with legal protection from enforcement action where they are simply unable to get such work undertaken through no fault of their own.”