Inform and Empower – NAPIT’s Leading response to the PRS Regulations

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  Posted by: electime      26th February 2021

Frank Bertie, Chairman of The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers, showcases the work of the Association in raising awareness of and explaining the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations to Landlords, Local Authorities and Letting Agents.

Having been a part of the electrical industry since my apprenticeship started in 1979, I was pleased when the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations were published in January 2020 after years of campaigning. As The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers, it made sense for us to take the lead in providing detailed Guidance on the Regulations to help people to be prepared.

Regulations are often written in such a way that make them challenging to read and understand and can be subject to differing interpretations. Having spent months understanding The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations, and writing a dedicated publication on them, we decided to embark on an initiative to share our knowledge with those most impacted, to help relieve the pressure for as many people and organisations as possible during this challenging time.

Improving electrical safety standards is at the heart of what we do and our approach to offer free informative webinars to Local Authorities, Letting Agents and Landlord Associations to help increase the awareness of the requirements within these Regulations and answer questions that the people dealing with implementing them have, has proved to be very popular.

To date, our live webinars have been watched by:

  • 34 Local Authorities
  • 17 Letting Agents and Landlord Associations
  • Over 3,000 landlords and industry professionals

Many others have caught up on recordings and will hear us talking about the Regulations on Podcasts which have over 10,000 subscribers and our industry press releases and articles on the topic have reached a potential readership of over 150,000.

Our aim was clear; to inform as many people as possible about the Regulations, and we are proud of the impact we are having and the positive feedback we have received. Alongside our webinars, we have provided free detailed guidance for Landlords and our Members which can be downloaded from our website. We have also continued to deliver webinars and articles for our members on the Regulations and free skills refresher training on Inspection and Testing to support with the completion of Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR’s).

We played an integral part in updating www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk so that it provides a differentiated search for those looking for an electrical company registered to carry out electrical installation work or to undertake an electrical safety repot, typically known as an EICR. This website is referenced in Government Guidance as a place to go to find a qualified and competent Electrical Inspector, and we are proud to have over 9,000 members qualified and competent to undertake electrical inspection and testing.

With the 1st April 2021 deadline fast approaching for all privately rented homes with an existing specified tenancy required to have an EICR which has been completed by a qualified and competent person, our awareness raising and campaigning for increased electrical safety is on-going and will continue for many years to come. We are aware of concerns throughout the industry in meeting the deadline, especially as we have been in a third lockdown. We have spoken to Government Officials about our members concerns, and they have no plans to extend the deadline due to the reasonability clause within the Regulations which prevents landlords from facing enforcement action when they have done all they reasonably can to comply. Demonstrating reasonable steps have been taken could include keeping copies of all communications landlords have had with their tenants and with electricians as they tried to arrange the work, including any replies they have had. If you have any queries about the Regulations, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at nta@napit.org.uk