Last week’s confusion over the government’s guidance on the new electrical safety regulations for existing tenancies has been cleared up after it was chased up by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

Previous guidance on the regulations published at the beginning of June said they would apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020.

But the updated guidance published last week said the regulations would apply from 1 July 2020 for tenancies that began on or after 1 June 2020.

This therefore ‘back-dated’ the regulations and worried many landlords that they were suddenly non-compliant.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has now confirmed that while the regulations do apply to tenancies begun from 1st June onwards, landlords have until next week (1st July) to get their certifications paperwork sorted out.

The regulations will then be rolled out to cover all existing tenancies in England from April 2021.

But the NRLA is warning landlords to check the wording of the AST contracts because, for some, when the fixed term comes to an end and the tenancy rolls on, this may be considered a new tenancy and therefore the property will need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Statutory periodics

“Tenancy agreements that do not have any clause in them specifying how the tenancy will continue after the end of the fixed term are ‘statutory periodic’ tenancies,” the NRLA says.

“For such tenancies, Section 5 of the Housing Act 1988 steps in to create a brand new tenancy agreement known as a statutory periodic tenancy which is separate from the original fixed term.”

The NRLA has been working with the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) on guidance for landlords.

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