Q&A - I am confused by the new Electrical Safety Regulations (England) for rental properties

Q:  I took on new tenants in a house I own on 1st February this year. They have a 12 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy which ends 31st January 2021 and then rolls into a periodic tenancy. I have looked at the new Electrical Safety Regulations and am confused about when I need to get an electrical check done. Also, the regulations seem to apply on different dates for ‘contractual periodic tenancies’ to ‘statutory periodic tenancies’, and I am not sure which type my tenants have. Please can you clarify this?

A:  A ‘contractual periodic tenancy’ is where it is written in the original tenancy agreement that on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will become periodic. A ‘statutory periodic tenancy’ is where on the expiry of the fixed term, the tenancy automatically rolls over into a periodic tenancy by statute.
In the case of a ‘contractual periodic tenancy’, the rolling tenancy becomes part of the same tenancy. Where the tenancy automatically rolls into a periodic tenancy by statute, then it will be a new tenancy.

So if you let your property on a fixed-term 12 month tenancy starting 1st February 2020 and the original tenancy agreement stated that at the end of the 12 months term (on 31st January 2021) the tenancy would roll over into a periodic tenancy – then this would be a ‘contractual periodic tenancy’.

The updated regulations apply to new tenancies starting on or after 1st July 2020, and to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. As your tenant has a ‘contractual periodic tenancy’ which will automatically remain as an existing tenancy at the end of the fixed term, you will not need to have an inspection done until 1st April 2021. With constantly changing legislation to comply with it may be worth getting your usual AST agreement checked by a solicitor to see if it needs updating.

Article August 2020

This question has been answered by Hywel Jones a Partner with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry, please use the ‘Contact us’ form on the website or call Oswestry 01691 659194. As a firm, you will appreciate that we are still extremely busy, and due to current circumstances work may be interrupted – however cases are still ongoing and will be prioritised by urgency and need. Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Hywel Jones

Hywel Jones

Partner

Part of our Property team in Oswestry