The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities) came into force on 1 June 2020 and are enforced by the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team. Fines for non-compliance of up to £30,000 could be imposed.
The new rules applies to all new standard Tenancies from the 1 July 2020 (a new Tenancy is one that was granted on or after 1 June 2020) and all existing Tenancies from 1 April 2021.
Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:
- Ensure the national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’ (https://electrical.theiet.org/bs-7671), which are published as British Standard 7671
- Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least once every 5 years
- Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test
- Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test
- Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises
- Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report
- Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy
- Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test
- Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report
- Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works
If a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent, then the Regulations apply. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy. For ‘statutory periodic tenancies’ – where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy will be a new tenancy. Properties let on statutory periodic tenancies where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021 will require an inspection and test at this point under the Regulations.
If private rented premises are found in contravention of this Act eg: remedial works are not completed or no certificate exists, then the Council has a duty to serve a remedial notice specifying the required action to be taken by the Landlord in the next 28 days. Should a landlord not comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for remedial action to be taken themselves. The local authority can recover the costs of taking the action from the landlord. The landlord has the right of appeal against a demand for costs.
Councils may also impose a penalty following failure to comply with the remedial notice via a ‘civil penalty’ (as per Housing Act 2004 and Housing and Planning Act 2016) of up to £30,000.
Further information regarding the regulations is available here:
- Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector (www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities)
- Guidance for Landlords (http://www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk/downloads/Electrical-Safety-Standards-in-the-Private-Rented-Sector-Regulation-ESR-Guidance.pdf)
- Private Sector Housing Enforcement and Licensing Policy PDF, 1662.59 KB
General electrical safety information is available here:
- Landlord information: (https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/landlords)
- Tenant Information: (https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/tenants)
- Overloading sockets calculator to check that you are not overloading the sockets in your home: (https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/safety-around-the-home/overloading-sockets)
If you have any queries please complete our contact form Private Sector Housing Team.