£25,000 fines for four landlords who put tenants lives at risk
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Four landlords have been ordered to pay Fenland District Council a total of £25,000 for breaching electrical safety regulations in rented properties.
“Income from fines will be used to continue to improve housing conditions within Fenland’s private rented sector,” said a council spokesperson.
Penalties for each landlord ranged from £5,00-£7,000.
And landlords have been warned that failure to comply could lead to enforcement action.
Councils have the power to impose civil penalty notices of up to £30,000, said the spokesperson.
The council says their action follows the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 which came into law from last April.
“Our private sector housing officers have been routinely monitoring the compliance of local landlords to ensure tenants are afforded minimum electrical safety standards within their home,” said the spokesperson.
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“Prior to the rules coming into force, local authorities could only recommend landlords to undertake regular electrical installation inspections, unless council officers identified electrical defects during housing inspections.”
The new regulations require landlords to ensure that all electrical wiring and installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years.
They must also provide a copy of the inspection report (known as the Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) to each tenant.
Where serious defects are identified, a copy must also be issued to the local authority.
“Defects identified in the EICR must also be rectified, and proof of remedial works must be provided to tenants and the local authority,” said the spokesperson.
The four offenders ordered to pay fines follows action taken by the council since last October.
A fifth case was withdrawn.
Cllr Samantha Hoy, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Landlords already have to keep the electrical installations in their rented properties safe and in working order, and most already do this.
“But the new rules mean landlords must get electrical installations checked at least every five years by a qualified person.”
She added: “While the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reduced electrical contractor availability to carry out electrical safety inspections, there is now an expectation that landlords must comply with regulations or face the financial penalties.”