The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/312) and their effect on the private rented sector.
Rachel Garton, 1st July, 2020
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (‘Electrical Safety Regulations’) came into force on 1 June 2020
What tenancies do the Regulations apply to?
The Regulations apply to:
• New specified tenancies with effect from 1 July 2020, and; • Existing specified tenancies with effect from 1 April 2021.
A specified tenancy is a tenancy of residential premises by which one or more persons are given the right to occupy the premises as their only or main residence for which a rent is payable. A new tenancy is defined as one granted on or after 1 June 2020. The Regulations apply to England only.
There are a number of tenancies that are excluded from the Regulations. The exclusions are: • Social housing; • Shared accommodation with landlord or landlord’s family; • Long leases; • Students halls of residence; • Hostels and refuges; • Care homes; • Hospitals and hospices.
What do the Regulations mean for Landlords?
A private landlord who grants or intends to grant a specified tenancy must:
Ensure that the ‘electrical safety standards’ are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied. The relevant ‘electrical safety standards’ are in the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations which are published as British Standard 7671.
Ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a “qualified and competent person” at least every 5 years. The first inspection should be carried out before the tenancy commences in relation to a new specified tenancy or by 1st April 2021 if an existing tenancy.
Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test and set a date for the next inspection and test.
Provide the inspection/testing report to:
- a. New tenants before they occupy the property
- b. Existing clients within 28 days of the inspection
- c. Prospective clients within 28 days of a written request
- d. The local housing authority within 7 days of a written request
- e. The qualified person undertaking the next inspection and test.
Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete the works within 28 days or a shorter period if specified in the report.
If 5 applies, provide written confirmation of completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and local authority within 28 days of completion.
The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances only the fixed electrical installations. However, it is recommended that landlords carry our regular portable appliance testing on any electrical appliances they have provided and supply the tenant with a record of these inspections. Local authorities will have the power to enforce the Regulations and can impose civil penalties up to a maximum of £30,000.
Guidance for tenants
The Government has released guidance for tenants which includes what a tenant should check to assess whether the home is covered by the Regulation and what will be inspected.
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