New mandatory electrical safety testing for private rental properties

Mandatory electrical safety testing for all new tenancies in England is being introduced from July 1st this year with all existing tenancies required to be compliant by April 2021, following this date the regulations will apply to all properties across the Private Rented Sector.

PWRA remind any shareholders letting out their property that complying with this regulation will also be an obligation under the terms of the lease.

Further official guidance from government was expected on June 1st, however given the ongoing Covid-19 crisis this guidance is unlikely. PWRA advice to landlords is to commission an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), fixed wiring test. These certificates are usually valid for 5 years. Landlords must rectify any Category 1 hazards immediately and Category 2 hazards as soon as possible but within 28 days.

A copy of the EICR report and its recommendations should be provided to each tenant on completion. PWRA also request that a copy of this report is sent to directors@plymouthwharf.com

Whilst the picture for renewals is less clear, landlords and agents acting on their behalf should assume that any renewing tenancies (including those that fall into Statutory
Periodic) will require inspecting and testing before the existing tenancy renews.

With that in mind and given the likely high demand for electricians, PWRA recommend you instruct works well in advance of a tenancy renewal.

Local authorities can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a breach of the regulations. Where there are multiple breaches, the local authority can impose multiple penalties. 

PWRA do not provide recommendations of electricians or tradespeople. Electrical Safety First, the UK’s leading charity on electrical safety provide a search tool on their website that can be used to find certified registered electricians.

Hyperoptic on-site (May 27-29th)

Engineers from Hyperoptic will be on-site to conduct surveys relating to provision of high-speed fibre broadband to the houses in the development May 27-29th. The service is already available to flats.

The work will involve lifting of BT manholes on the development and should cause minimal disruption. We have sought assurance from Hyperoptic that all work will be done following government COVID-19 guidance, which they have confirmed.

We have not been advised of any need to access individual properties at this time and have clarified to Hyperoptic that they will need permission from both us and corresponding owners if they do.

Any enquiries relating to Hyperoptic relating to getting service should be directed to them. Please do not engage the engineers directly whilst they are onsite. We have been asked to respect social distancing guidelines and they will be unlikely to be able to answer specific questions anyway.

Disclaimer

PWRA has no involvement between the relationship between Hyperoptic and residents opting to take their service. Any tenants are also reminded that they should seek the permission of their property owner before requesting a new connection as this typically requires wiring a connection point internally in the property.

PWRA does not promote or recommend the use of any broadband provider over another. Hyperoptic was granted permission to provide services to the development as an additional option after they contacted us after interest expressed by a number of residents. The connection provided by Hyperoptic will facilitate much higher internet speeds than currently available due to use of fibre to the premises (FTTP).

Parking regulations

We have recently received a number of complaints from residents around parking on the development. The parking regulations are already stated within the Lease (shared with owners – [clause 4(n)] ) and the Residents Handbook (available to owners and tenants). For awareness we are also sharing these regulations here:

Defined parking areas

Each flat is provided a specific allocated space in the area outside the block or around the central garden. The allocated spaces are defined within the Lease and Residents Handbook. For privacy reasons we do not publish the space allocation publicly here but owners and tenants can contact directors@plymouthwharf.com if unsure.

Each house is provided space on their forecourt for parking in addition to garage.

There are also a number of allocated “visitor” bays around the central garden, each one is clearly marked with a sign saying “visitor”.

Parking outside of the allocated areas is not permitted. The only exception being emergency vehicles or if explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.

Use of allocated parking spaces

The following regulations are outlined in the Residents Handbook:

  1. Parking for the flats is in allocated spaces around the blocks and garden in accordance with the provisions of each of the Owner’s leases
  2. Flat Owners have exclusive right to use their own parking space.  Flat Owners shall not park their vehicles in other people’s allocated parking spaces – this will amount to trespass – unless they have explicit permission to do so from the corresponding owner
  3. There shall be no parking in such a way as to obstruct access to and from a resident’s allocated parking space – or allocated visitor bay
  4. Parking for the houses is in their own garages and on their own forecourts.  House Owners shall not park their vehicles in other people’s allocated parking spaces – this will amount to trespass – unless they have explicit permission to do so from the corresponding owner
  5. The Lease does provide that the five visitors’ bays may be used, if vacant, on a short-term basis only.  If these are full, then parking shall be outside the development  
  6. No parking is permitted at each end of the centre garden island as this restricts access of emergency vehicles.  No parking of bicycles or vehicles on the communal pedestrian areas  
  7. No  parking of bicycles in the flat block corridors or stairwells, nor the chaining of bicycles to railings, as maintenance of these areas is the responsibility of PWRA. There are two cycling racks to the left and right as you enter the main gates where you can park your bikes 
  8. Commercial vehicles cannot be parked anywhere on the development – unless explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.
  9. Owners and Tenants are responsible for ensuring that their visitors comply with the parking regulations set out in the above paragraph.  The maximum stay for visitors’ vehicles in the visitor’s bays shall be 48 hours per week, after this time any visitor shall remove their vehicle from the Wharf – unless explicitly agreed with PWRA board as a temporary exception. Such exceptions are typically only granted for maintenance of the overall development.
  10. It is not permitted for residents to utilise their allocated space for commercial purposes or to rent it out for use by other people who do not reside on the development
  11. Any vehicle parked on the development must comply with government regulations – specifically be: registered with the DVLA, have up-to-date vehicle tax, have a current MOT and be roadworthy

Speed limit and direction of travel

The speed of vehicles in the Wharf shall not exceed 10 mph and vehicles shall comply with the one way system, which is clockwise from the Saunders Ness Road entrance.

Enforcement

PWRA board of directors will take action to enforce breaches of the parking regulations; including application of penalty fines, reporting to the police or even legal action if necessary.

Use of visitor bays and communal areas for parking is monitored regularly including via CCTV system where security or safety is a concern.

With regards to unauthorised use of private allocated spaces by others, we rely on residents to report this as we do not maintain a list of vehicles and their owners. Any resident whose space is being used without their permission can report this to directors@plymouthwharf.com. All emails will be treated in confidence.

Longer term we are looking to introduce a parking permit system to enable more effective policing of parking.