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Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England)

The majority of landlords are proactive when it comes to ensuring the safety of their tenants and make a welcome contribution to the housing market. However, a minority fail to do so, putting their tenants in danger as a result.

New regulations came into force on 1st June 2020 and form part of the Department’s wider work to improve safety in all residential premises, particularly in the private rented sector.

The regulations apply to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.

These new regulations affect landlords, tenants and local authorities.

As part of the new regulations, landlords will need to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested every 5 years by a qualified and competent professional.

Landlords must in turn provide their tenants with a copy of the electrical safety report, and to the local authority as well if requested.

Inspections

The inspection must look at the ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, such as wiring, socket-outlets (plug sockets), light fittings and the consumer unit (or fuse box). permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors must also be included. Only fixed electrical installations are covered, tenants are personally responsible for the safety of electrical appliances.

The inspection will seek to determine if:

  • any electrical installations are overloaded
  • there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • there is any defective electrical work
  • there is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations

Please visit the GOV.UK website[external link], for full guidance and answers to any questions you may have

Financial penalties

Local authorities may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach of their duties.