Electrical safety in rented homes, what has changed with the new regulation?
1 June 2020 by Paula Bland
New regulations come into force from 1st July 2020 (1st June 2020 for HMOs – Houses in Multiple Occupation) requiring private landlords to ensure that every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years. The inspection and test must be by a qualified and competent person. These Regulations apply in England to:-
- all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020, and
- all existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021.
You can read the full electrical safety standards in the private rented sector: guidance for landlords, tenants, and local authorities here.
But what is required of the private landlord does not end there.
Do landlords have to have electrics checked?
Following the inspection and testing a private landlord must:-
- Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test, which gives:
- the results of the inspection and test and the
- date of the next inspection and test.
- Within 28 days of the inspection and test supply a copy of the report to each existing tenant of the residential premises.
- If the private landlord receives a written request from the local authority he or she must supply a copy of the report to the local housing authority within 7 days.
- Keep a copy of the report until the next inspection and test is due and
- Supply a copy of the most recent report to:
- the person carrying out the next inspection and test
- any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises
- any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a written request for it from that prospective tenant.
As a private landlord, you might ask what ‘report’ should you expect?
Do rental properties need an electrical safety certificate?
The Regulations simply refer to a report being obtained by the person conducting the inspection and test. Typically, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used within the industry for this purpose.
The EICR will record whether the electrical installation is in a satisfactory or unsatisfactory condition and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or requiring improvements.
Where an EICR identifies urgent remedial work or requires ‘Further Investigation’, the private landlord must ensure that this required work is carried out by a qualified and competent person within:
- 28 days; or
- the period specified in the report if less than 28 days, starting with the date of the inspection and testing.
What should the private landlord do next?
From there the private landlord must then:-
- Obtain written confirmation from a qualified person that the further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met or further investigative or remedial work is required;
- Supply the written confirmation, together with a copy of the report which required further investigative or remedial work to:
- Each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work and
- The local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work.
Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new Regulations and can impose a fine of up to £30,000 if they find a landlord is in breach of their duty.
Local Authorities have the power to serve remedial notices on the private landlord. If the private landlord ignores the remedial notice and action is not taken within 28 days, the Local Authority can arrange for remedial work to be carried out, with the tenant’s consent, and recover the costs from the landlord.
For help in relation to any Landlord and Tenant issues, please call 01206 700113 or email [email protected].
Concerned about the implications of COVID-19 on your landlord and tenant proceedings, read our latest article here.