Electrical safety checks will have to be carried out in all private rental properties in England, according to Regulations now laid in Parliament.  Practically this means that landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 look set to become law from 1stApril this year, initially applying to all new tenancies. Inspections are likely to be required of electrical installations from 1stJuly 2020 for all new tenancies or from 1stApril 2021 for all existing tenancies.

Safety checks would then have to be done at five yearly intervals.

The main details are:

  • Upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.
  • The private landlord must supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.
  • The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules and they have the power to arrange remedial action.
  • Proven breaches of the Regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

The regulations have had mixed reviews with some seeing it as another cost to be borne by landlords.  Conversely, many of our landlords voluntarily undertake these inspections and therefore enforcement will have limited impact.

David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark, said: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.

“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”

Although the regulations have not been enforced, we are confident that this bill will be passed through parliament.  We will be advising all Landlords to start undertaking these electrical inspections as soon as possible to ensure that all tenancies are compliant ahead of the 1stApril 2021 deadline. Further details will follow shortly.

For more information or advice please contact one of our experienced team on 01904 393989.