Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1st June 2020. This briefing note is to assist residential Landlords.

The regulations apply to all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020 and will apply to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. A link to the regulations as enacted by Parliament is here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/introduction/made

The regulations require Landlords to have electrics at rental properties checked at least every five years by a properly qualified person. The electrics must meet the standards set out in the regulations and Landlords must provide proof of compliance.

The appropriate electrical standard is presently set out in the 18th edition of the “Wiring Regulations” which are published as a British Standard 7671. The regulations require that a copy of the report is provided to a tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test and that a copy of any report obtained would need to be provided to a new tenant prior to their occupancy of the property.

Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary the regulations require completion of the works within 28 days or a shorter period if specified as necessary within the report.

There are a number of sanctions available to the Local Authorities including financial penalties of up to £30,000.00 or remedial works being undertaken by the Local Authorities who can then recover the costs of such works from Landlords.

The Local Authority also has the power, where Landlords are in non compliance with a remedial notice served by the Local Authority to arrange the required remedial action to be undertaken by the Local Authority who will then recover the costs of undertaking the said action from the Landlord.

The regulations apply to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020. Accordingly if you are a Landlord with an empty property at present you will need to secure the appropriate electrical certification prior to letting the same. Existing tenancies will require certification by April 2021 so there is a short period to allow Landlords to undertake the necessary inspections and obtain appropriate certification.

There are a number of exemptions to these regulations including houses in multiple occupation (HMO) although licencing requirements for HMOs already require electrical testing.

The regulations are to “level up” the property market and in particular the private rented sector. The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government concede that the majority of Landlords are pro active when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of their tenant.