Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector, 2020 Regulations

New regulations for electrical instalment testing, in private rented properties, are coming into place this July. The new regulations will apply to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.

Landlords will need to ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested every five years by a qualified person.  Landlords must also obtain a report of the inspection testing results, and supply it to each tenant within 28 days, retaining a copy until the next inspection.

What will this mean?

All private rented landlords will need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested before a tenancy begins by a qualified person. Landlords must also ensure that the installation is checked and tested every five years, if not sooner.

It also means that for any existing tenancies, an electrical safety test will need to be completed by the 1st April 2021 and repeated as highlighted above – every five years.

Each time the property is tested, the landlord must receive a written report from the qualified person and provide a copy to the tenant within 28 days. The report should include results and the date for next inspection. Landlords must keep a copy of the report for the next inspection. If the local authority request a copy the landlord has just seven days to supply this.

If a prospective tenant asks to see the report in writing, it must be provided within 28 days of receiving the request. For all new tenants, landlords must provide a copy of the latest report before the tenant occupies the property.

Who will this apply to?

The new regulations will apply to privately rented properties across the private rental sector. It does not impact lodger agreements where the tenant lives with a landlord or their family. These regulations will replace the existing requirements for HMOs regarding electrical installation testing and inspection.

Who can test the electrical instalments?

A qualified person in this instance is someone fit to undertake the inspection and testing required, and any further work in accordance with the electrical safety standards.

What if electrical faults are highlighted on the report?

Landlords must repair or investigate any faults or potential faults highlighted on the electrical safety report within 28 days of inspection. If there is an earlier deadline on the report for faults to be resolved, landlords should make sure this is met. Once the work has been completed for repairing faults landlords will need to receive written confirmation that the faults have been rectified. If the faults can’t be rectified, the report will need to show that further work is required. 

What happens if there is a breach of the regulation? 

Local authorities can impose a penalty of £30,000 for a single breach of the regulation. If there are multiple breaches, the authority can implement multiple penalties. 

Find out more about the new regulations and breaches on the draft legislation.