Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector
Why the need for changes?
The majority of landlords in the private rented sector are proactive when it comes to ensuring the safety of their tenants and make a welcome contribution to the housing market. But a minority fail to do so, putting their tenants in danger as a result.
New electrical regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.
When do these new changes take effect?
The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.
What properties will this apply to?
If a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent, then the Regulations apply. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.
What will be inspected and tested?
The ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the consumer unit (or fuse box) will be inspected. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors.
What needs to be done afterwards?
The Regulations state that a landlord must ensure that electrical safety standards are met and that investigative or remedial work is carried out if the report requires this. If the report requires remedial work or further investigation, landlords must provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant and to the local authority within 28 days of completing the work.
The electrical installation should be safe for continued use. In practice, if the report does not require investigative or remedial work, the landlord will not be required to carry out any further work.
Landlords must retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
What if I don’t adhere to the new Regulations?
Local authorities may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach of their duties.
What if I don’t do the required remedial work?
If a local authority has reasonable grounds to believe that a landlord is in breach of one or more of the duties in the Regulations, they must serve a remedial notice on the landlord requiring remedial action. Should a landlord not comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for remedial action to be taken themselves and recover the costs of taking the action from the landlord.
If this change in the law affects you and you have any questions or you require an electrical safety report to comply please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01392 444201 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.