Electrical safety

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 have now been published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Regulations will apply in England only and need to be approved by Parliament before they come into force on 1 June 2020. Once they are in force the Regulations will then apply to all new tenancies (excluding holiday lets) commencing on or after 1 July 2020. Tenancies which commenced prior to 1 July 2020 will need to comply with the Regulations on or before 1 April 2021. New tenancies includes all renewals and would presumably include statutory periodic tenancies.

The Regulations will impose a twofold obligation on landlords:

  • All electrical installations in a rented property occupied by a tenant as their main or only home must comply with the 2018 edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018); and
  • All electrical installations will need to be tested every five years by a qualified person who will need to provide a report. This test will need to be carried out for all new tenancies which commence on or after 1 July 2020 or by 1 April 2021 for pre-existing tenancies. The report will need to be provided to a new tenant before they occupy the property. Where a prospective tenant requests for a copy of the report in writing they must be given it within 28 days.

Local authorities will also have powers to request the electrical report which must be provided within 7 days. Local authorities will have powers to serve notices to require immediate remedial work in serious cases or within 21 days of becoming aware of less serious works required. Where a landlord receives a notice, they have 21 days to make representations or alternatively must comply with the notice within 28 days. Where a local authority receives representations, they must consider them within 7 days. Where landlords do not comply, local authorities can carry out works they consider necessary at the landlord’s cost. If local authorities pursue costs, landlords can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. In addition to serving landlords with these notices, local authorities can also impose civil penalties up to a maximum of £30,000. These penalties can also be appealed to the First Tier Tribunal.

Comment

These Regulations still need to be approved so we may amend this post if necessary. In the meantime, agents and landlords will need to ensure that they are prepared for the implementation of these Regulations. Complying with the 2018 IET Wiring Regulations may be an expensive and long process so action should be taken sooner rather than later.

Whether local authorities will have the resources to properly enforce these Regulations is in doubt. However, funding may be made available.

 

Disclaimer

The contents of this blog post is not legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only. If legal advice is needed readers should contact a solicitor. No responsibility for any information contained within this post is accepted and PainSmith solicitors accepts no liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this post.

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