Some of our Landlord clients have suffered in almost battlefield conditions through the lockdowns of the last 18 months.

We recognise their vulnerability and admire their strength of character.

The government’s decision to ban the enforcement of evictions, although understandable, has seen arrears build. Increases in disputes between landlords and tenants are ongoing.

We discovered that a third of landlords surveyed by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) at the end of last year said that they were more likely to either sell some or all of their properties

Yet there was a sharp acceleration in rental growth in December, rising by an annual 4.1 per cent, according to data from Hamptons International, making it the fastest rate of rental growth since July 2016.

Now, balance the discussion further with the recent announcement by John Lewis to move into the residential property market by building 10,000 homes for rental over the next few years. The department store chain said it wanted to address the ‘national housing shortage’ and support local communities.

 “As a business driven by social purpose, we have big ambitions for moving into property rental,” said Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development for the John Lewis Partnership.

Well, they’ve got to sell those lamp shades somewhere!

It is clearly an investment rollercoaster. But, don’t let it run away as a rollercoaster crash, because of poor maintenance.

We thought we would take this opportunity to remind Landlords (perhaps not John Lewis!) of their key responsibilities as far as Electrical Installations are concerned across the properties they let.

Letting is not easy as you know, but it can be lucrative, particularly if every unit is occupied without breaks or major maintenance down time.

With Electrical Installation, inspection and maintenance, your highest hurdle is EICR compliance:

(EICR) Electrical Installation Condition Report – 5 Key Steps

We have tried to simplify your responsibilities down to 5 key steps:

The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and form part of the HSE Department’s wider work to improve safety in all residential premises, particularly in the private rented sector. 

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:

  1. Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  2. Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
  3. Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  4. Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  5. Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

Apart from the clear physical and safety requirements, landlords who do not carry out these reports risk fines of up to £30,000 from local authorities if found to be in breach of their duties.

For more information visit: gov.uk/EICR 

Landlord Compliance

Anticipation is the key to good electrical maintenance. We (JGF) are widely recognised as champions of Landlord Compliance.

To minimise rental breaks, you must minimise the time a unit is out of action for electrical repair. Periodic Testing & Inspection ensures that Tenants are safe and enjoy uninterrupted benefits in the properties they rent. For Landlords, such inspections are an essential validation of their (your) ability to let the assets they own or manage.

EICRs are required for a reason. Well, not least, no EICR, no letting; no letting – you know the rest I’m sure.

Completing, repairing, reporting and ongoing maintenance make the process efficient and compliant – without the fuss.

But there’s more to come Landlords.

A Bill is being introduced into both Houses of Parliament [this week] which will ramp up the pressure on the private rented sector to become even more energy efficient. Backers of the Bill say it will help the government see that all private rental homes are EPC band C or below by 2028.

The rise of smart technology and the Internet isn’t just a blessing for ordinary folk – it can offer many benefits to private landlords, too. If you’re late to the party, follow our blog so you don’t miss a coming article on Smart Home Technology in the rental market. Learn how ‘smart technology’ can help landlords save cash, attract tenants, do their bit for the environment, and comply with EPC responsibilities.

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