On 1 June 2020, we noted here that The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 had a bit of a quirk. The regulations applied to all ‘new specified tenancies’ from 1 July 2020. But a ‘new specified tenancy’ is defined as a tenancy that starts on or after the date the Regs are in force. The Regs are were in force on 1 June 2020. So, we concluded, the regs would apply from 1 July 2020 to all new tenancies starting on or after 1 June 2020.
MHLCG’s previous guidance stated the regs would apply to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020. On 18 June 2020, MHCLG released revised guidance which apparently, although not consistently, stated that the regs would apply from 1 July 2020 to all new tenancies from 1 June 2020. Which is what the regs actually say. However, some parts of the guidance still said new tenancies from 1 July 2020.
This caused a fuss with ARLA. So today, 19 June 2020, MHCLG withdrew the revised guidance and reinstated the original guidance, stating:
We’re grateful to our stakeholders for engaging with the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 and for their help preparing the guidance to these important regulations.We endeavour to make our guidance as useful and as clear as possible. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the recent update so we have reverted these changes and will carefully review the guidance. As before, we’ll work closely with our stakeholders as we ensure this guidance is up to date and useable.
Being clear and consistent is very important, but the re-instated guidance would appear to be wrong on which tenancies will be caught on 1 July 2020. And ARLA appear to think it is all new tenancies from 1 July 2020, but that is not what the Regulations provide.