Landlords in England and Wales will be familiar with the need to supply gas safety certificates to their tenants but whilst they are also responsible for ensuring the electrical appliances and systems are safe there has been no formal requirement for professional testing.
This changed in Scotland last December and landlords there are now required to carry out formal 5 yearly electrical safety checks. And how long will it be before similar rules are introduced here?
I can remember living in a rented house once where you couldn't turn the bathroom lights on or off after taking a shower without getting an electric shock! Clearly if the regulations protect against this kind of risk they can only be a good thing. Unfortunately I suspect the vast majority of landlords are already keen to ensure that their tenants are safe so the regulations won't make much difference to them other than formalising checks that they are already undertaking.
And with regard to those rogue landlords out there... will the existence of yet another safety regulation make a difference to the way they operate? I fear not.
From 1 December 2015 landlords must carry out an inspection of all installations, fixtures and fittings in a property. Landlords have to give a copy of the most recent inspection report to new tenant before the tenancy begins. After the initial inspection, there will have to have a further inspection carried out at least once every five years. This new requirement applies to any new tenancy that begins on or after 1 December 2015. For existing tenancies landlords have up to 1 December 2016 to carry out an inspection.