COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords

By: admin

31 March 2020

On the 28.03.2020 a new guidance document for landlords, tenants and local authorities, was released from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) - on property access and health and safety obligations in the context of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Section 3.9 What about my legal obligations to provide regular gas and electrical safety inspections? Will I be prosecuted if I can’t get access because I or my tenants are self-isolating?

  • Landlords must provide tenants with all necessary gas and electrical safety and any other relevant certification 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. Landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July. There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this (see box below), and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.
  • We are encouraging local authorities and other enforcement agencies to take a pragmatic, common-sense approach to enforcement in these unprecedented times. You can read the latest guidance for landlords and Gas Safe engineers and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive here
  • If you are not able to gain access to the property due to restrictions in place to tackle COVID-19, or are not able to engage a contractor to carry out the necessary work, we recommend you document your attempts to do so and all correspondence with your tenants

View the complete COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords and tenants

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