Electrical Safety Regulations: What is it and how does it affect the private rented sector?

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  Posted by: electime      6th April 2021

From the 1st July 2020, new regulations for electrical instalment testing in private rented properties came into effect for all new tenancies. Furthermore, these new regulations are going to be implemented for all existing tenancies from the 1st of April 2021.

As a result, landlords will be required to ensure that each fixed electrical installation undergoes an inspection and is then followed up by testing every five years by a qualified engineer.

What does it all mean?

Essentially, it will now become a legal requirement for private rented landlords to make sure that all electrical installations are inspected prior to a tenant moving into their property. The testing will need to be completed by a qualified engineer while they will have to repeat the testing process no later than five years after the last test.

This will also mean that landlords are required to ensure that for all existing tenancies, an electrical safety test is carried out before the 1st April and again, carried out every five years.

Every time a test takes place, the engineer carrying out the test will provide the landlord with a report of the test and this must then be given to the tenant within 28 days. The report should then be stored safely as this will provide the results of the report but will also provide the date that the next test should be completed. This report will also be used for the next test, which is another reason for keeping it while any requests made from the local authority to see the report must be actioned within seven days.

Of course, it is also possible that a potential tenant might submit a request to see the report in writing and if this is the case, it must be given to them within 28 days. In the case of new tenants,  landlords must ensure that they supply a copy of the report before the tenant takes up residence in the property.

Who are the regulations applicable to?

These regulations will be applicable to landlords with private rented properties throughout the private rental sector. It will not affect any lodger agreements that are in place whereby the lodger resides with the landlord and their family. However, they will be put in place of the current requirements for HMOs that relate to the testing and inspection of electrical installations.

Who is permitted to undertake the testing of electrical installations?

Every test has to be completed by a qualified electrical engineer. This means that they can complete the inspection and testing and undertake all works while ensuring that they comply with all electrical safety standards.

What happens if the report indicates that electrical faults are apparent?

If any faults are identified, then the responsibility falls on the landlord to ensure that the findings are investigated and then repaired within 28 days following the initial inspection. In some instances, an earlier date could be put on the report as a deadline, and this should be met. Following the completion of all remedial works, the landlords will then need to obtain proof that the faults have been solved. If the faults cannot be solved, then the report will need to highlight that further work is required.

What happens if a landlord breaches the regulations?

There could be a fine of £30,000 for breaching the regulations from the Local Authority.

For more information on electrical safety regulations, contact your local London electricians or visit the Gov website.