As we have blogged about previously ( https://painsmith.co.uk/electrical-safety-2/ ) the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 is in force from June 2020 and applies for all new qualifying tenancies from July 2020. We are well aware of the effect of the current pandemic to the lettings industry as a whole and no doubt there will be those expecting/hoping for a further grace period to comply given issues with staff shortages, limited contractor availability etc. Unfortunately for anyone hoping this, no such grace period will be given and compliance will be expected regardless.
To help prepare for this, the Housing, Communities and Local Government’s guidance has now been released. We would certainly recommend to look through so that everyone is aware of what obligations will need to be met. The guidance itself can be found via the link below:
Whilst this should not be a substitute for reading though the full guidance, below are some key bullet-point elements to the regulations to be aware of:
• The regulations will require mains testing every 5 years by a ‘qualified and competent’ inspector.
• The wiring will need to meet the standards as set out in the 18th Edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’ (which was undated in 2019).
• If the landlord has a past test carried out in the last 5 years but it was produced according to previous editions of these Wiring Regulations, it does not automatically mean that the test is no longer valid. The guidance addresses this issue and sets out ‘It is good practice for landlords with existing reports to check these reports and decide whether the electrical installation complies with electrical safety standards. Landlords might also wish to contact the inspector who provided a report to ensure the installation complies with electrical safety standards.’ Ultimately, the best advice would be if you are not sure that the previous test would have met the current standards, it is best to have a further test carried out.
• A copy of the report needs to be provided to a new tenant before move in.
• If a tenant is already in occupation when a updated check is carried out, a copy of the report needs to be given the tenant within 28 days of the test.
• If remedial works are required, they need to be carried out with 28 days.
• The regulations will apply to new tenancies, renewed tenancies and tenancies that become a statutory periodic tenancy from 1 July 2020. All further qualifying tenancies that were started pre-July 2020, will need to comply by April 2021.
• HMOs that were already subject to previous regulations regarding electrical safety (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006) are now subject to the new regulations.
• The regulations apply to all private tenancies with the exception of include social housing, lodgers, those on a long lease of 7 years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.
• There can be penalties of up the £30,000 for non-compliance.