New Electrical Safety Standards Regulations come into force on 1st April for all existing tenancies

Regulations

New regulations were introduced on 1st July 2020  for all new tenancies. From 1st April 2021 these regulations will come into force for all existing tenancies. These regulations set new standards of electrical safety as well as legal requirements on the service of documents to relevant people. It is the landlord’s responsibility to meet these requirements and also make sure that all electrical appliances left at the property are safe to use.

All landlords should make every effort to abide by the rules, provided that this can be done in line with guidance on working in people’s homes during Coronavirus.

Requirements

Landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. The Regulations also state that a landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test, supply it to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.

The following must also be noted:

  • Upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.
  • The private landlord must supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.
  • The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules and they have the power to arrange remedial action.

Penalties

Proven breaches of the Regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000

Appliance Testing

Whilst the above regulations do not cover electrical appliances, where a landlord provides an electrical appliance as part of a tenancy, the law expects the appliance will be maintained in a safe condition that will not cause harm to the tenant. Failure to do so could lead to the landlord being sued for negligence. With this in mind, a PAT (portable appliance testing) is always best practice for landlords but it is not a legal requirement.

For further information please contact Perry Bishop’s lettings team.