With a number of property investors looking to take advantage of Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday by expanding their portfolios, NICEIC is keen to remind existing and would-be landlords of the important safety responsibility that comes with renting a private property – particularly in light of vital new electrical legislation.
The electrical certification body reminds us that 1 June 2020 saw the introduction of new legislation in England whereby landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is “qualified and competent”, at least every five years.
Having come into effect for new properties from 1 July and due for existing properties as of 1 April 2021, failure to adhere to the new legislation could incur a fine of up to £30,000.
Paul Collins, NICEIC’s technical services manager, commented: “It has certainly been an incredibly difficult time of late for the UK property market, as with the wider economy, so it’s great to see the government provide a much-needed stimulus in the form of a stamp duty holiday. In particular, it is expected that this temporary relief will boost buy-to-let enquiries where the tax savings for potential investors can be great.
“At NICEIC, however, our concern lies in the fact that for some it may be all too tempting to rush into buying a property to rent, without first having a full understanding of the level of responsibility it entails.
“In terms of electrical safety, for example, we have just seen the introduction of new legislation whereby landlords have a much greater level of responsibility to ensure the electrical safety of their properties – failure to adhere to which could result in fines of up to £30,000.”
According to the NICEIC, almost half - 48% - of Brits would go by the recommendation of a family member or friend when seeking an electrician, while only 7% check for professional accreditations – leaving them exposed to cowboy tradespeople.
Collins added: “One of the biggest issues in electrical safety is the fact that many people still tend to go by a recommendation without first checking a company’s professional credentials. The result of which can be a whole host of safety and cost implications – we must remember, after all, that electrics can be deadly and must be installed and maintained by a competent professional. Take this into the private rented sector domain, where there is a huge legal and ethical responsibility to protect tenants, and this becomes even more serious.
“As we go forward into this interesting chapter for the UK property market, it is our hope that all landlords, new and existing, pay careful consideration to their electrical safety responsibility by using only competent professionals. For all such enquiries, we’d urge them to visit www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/ where they’ll be able to find a host of qualified electricians with the technical expertise required to assist in their regulatory requirements.
“In that way, they can enjoy the lucrative opportunity afforded by this major tax break while ensuring a safe and secure environments for their tenants.”