Landlord Electrical Safety Checks Now Mandatory
Electrical Safety Check Regulations to be rolled out across England, for all private rental landlords
From 1st June 2020, new Government regulations will make it mandatory for landlords within the private rental sector to have their electrical installations tested every five years. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 were initially drafted by Parliament back in January, but have now become law in England enforcing landlord electrical safety checks.
Clear and stringent, the new regulations mean all landlords with private tenants (moving in after 1st July 2020), will be obligated to have the electrical installations in their rental properties tested by a qualified engineer before anyone physically moves in. After the initial test, the system will then need to be examined at least every five years and more frequently if the building is particularly historic.
Some will be pleased to hear that for landlords with tenants under an existing contract, the regulations won’t be enforced until 1st April 2021, but when they do, they will apply to all properties within the private rented sector, including HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy). Landlords with live-in tenants will be exempt from the changes.
What you need to know
So, what are landlords required to do by law? Well, once they’ve hired an engineer to inspect their property, or properties, landlords will have just 28 days to arrange any repair work, which must meet current electrical safety standards.
They will also need to obtain a detailed Electrical Safety Report following any inspection, which will list each fault and state a future date for the next assessment. Landlords will need to keep hold of this report for the full five-year period, if not longer, as it will need to be given to the engineer carrying out the follow-up visit. A copy will also need to be given to each tenant living in the property, within 28 days.
For new rentals, landlords will be obliged to issue a copy of the most recent inspection report to their new occupant, before they move in, and prospective tenants will have the right to request a copy before signing a contract.
Implications for non-compliance
Under the new regulations, local authorities may request a copy of the Electrical Safety Report from any landlord, who will have just seven days to respond. As well as this, local authorities will also have the power to fine landlords up to £30,000, for non-compliance.
Before penalties can be dished out however, local authorities must serve a remedial notice and the landlord will then have 28 days to act. If the landlord fails to comply after this, authorities will have the right to access the property, in order to carry out inspection and repair works on behalf of the landlord.
For more information on this new legislation, or on how we might be able to assist you with these legal obligations, get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 0207 315 4151.