Landlords will be shocked to learn that new Regulations for Electrical Safety Standards will apply for any new tenancy from the 1st July 2020 and to all tenancies from the 1st April 2021.
A draft of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament on 13 January 2020 and will become law very soon. They will require private landlords to ensure that the electrical safety standards in the Eighteenth Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (first published 1st July 2018) are met, whenever those premises are let under a tenancy.
From 1st July 2020, landlords in England will need to ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested by a qualified person, and a report issued, before a new tenancy is granted. A copy of the Inspection Report must be provided to any new tenant before they occupy the property and the report must also be provided to any prospective tenant who asks for it within 28 days of a request in writing. Any remedial work must be carried out within 28 days, or sooner if indicated in the report. Landlords will then need to ensure that the installations are inspected and tested at least every five years – and more often if the most recent safety report requires it.
For existing tenancies, an electrical safety test will need to be carried out by 1st April 2021, with regular tests following this, as outlined above.
The shock for landlords will be the fact that few installations installed before 1st July 2018 will comply with the new regulations.
So, as well as having a Gas Safety Certificate and an EPC, an Electrical Inspection Report will now also have to be obtained before a property is marketed.
Local Authorities will be able to request a copy of the Report, which must be supplied within seven days of that request. They can send remedial notices to any landlords who are in breach of their duties and they must undertake to do that work, at the landlord’s cost.
Local Authorities can also issue a civil penalty to any landlord who is has not complied with its duties, up to a maximum sum of £30,000.
These regulations impose the duty on the landlord, not their agent; a landlord cannot hide behind its agent if their duties under the new regulations have not been complied with.
These regulations are coming into force very soon. It is imperative that all landlords instruct a qualified electrician now, to make sure that all installations comply with the new regulations - and that there is time to complete any necessary remedial work.
For further advice on this or any other landlord or tenant related matters, please contact me, Gary Leverett, by phone on 01603 724654 or by email at email@example.com.