Latest News

Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations in Scotland on hold again

15 January 2021

The Scottish Government has today, 15 January, announced the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Standards that were to come into law in April 2021, with the first standard requiring properties to have a minimum EPC rating D for new tenancies from April 2022, have again been postponed. Read More...

New building safety regulators proposed for Wales

15 January 2021

The Welsh Government’s Building Safety White Paper covers all multi-occupied residential buildings, from houses converted into flats through to high rise apartment blocks. It sets out major reforms to how properties are designed, built, managed, and lived in whilst proposing clear lines of accountability and a stronger regulatory system. Read More...

Support growing for Fire Safety Bill amendments that add protection for leaseholders

15 January 2021

In November, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the UK Government’s Fire Safety Bill making changes to the current legislation to protect leaseholders from having to pay for historical fire safety remedial work, including the removal of dangerous cladding. Read More...

Tightened restrictions for working from home and in people’s homes

13 January 2021

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced today, 13 January, six new changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland to come into force on Saturday, 16 January, subject to Parliament approval. Among these changes are statutory guidance on working from home and a limitation on working within other people's homes by law. Read More...

Advice on gas and electric checks in latest UK Gov guidance

Tuesday 31 March 2020

Over the weekend of 28 and 29 March 2020, the UK Government released non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private rented sector following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, Propertymark has been in constant dialogue with Governments across the UK in order to ensure policy makers understand the impact that Coronavirus is having on the sector and that agents receive advice, guidance and resources.

Key questions Propertymark has been asked centre on letting agent and landlord obligations to provide regular gas safety inspections and the electrical safety regulations due to come into force for new tenancies on 1 July 2020 in England. The guidance outlines:

GAS AND ELECTRICAL CHECKS

  • Landlords should make every effort to follow existing gas safety regulations and the electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July. Both regulations allow for situations where a landlord cannot carry out their obligations and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law. The issue is outlined on page 19 of the guidance.
  • Landlords must also provide tenants with all necessary gas and electrical safety and any other relevant certification documents at the beginning of a tenancy (and carry out all scheduled inspections and tests where required). Where inspections have already been carried out, documents can be provided by post or in some circumstances it may be possible to provide digital copies.

The guidance says that in relation to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020, if a landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, they are not in breach. This includes duty to comply with a remedial notice.

A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with their tenants and with electricians as they tried to arrange the work, including any replies they have had. Landlords may also want to provide other evidence they have that the installation, appliance or flue is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works.

ENFORCEMENT

The Government is encouraging local authorities and other enforcement agencies to take a pragmatic, common-sense approach to enforcement in these unprecedented times.

ACCESS TO PROPERTY

Where agents are unable to gain access to a property due to restrictions in place to tackle Coronavirus  or are not able to engage a contractor to carry out the necessary work, the Government recommend agents document their attempts to do so and all correspondence with their tenants.

CORONAVIRUS ACT

The guidance also covers the new measures relating to notices seeking possession as amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020 and court action on possession cases during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance is advisory, and all guidance is subject to frequent updates and should be checked regularly.

Guidance