Electrical Safety Inspections (installations and appliances)

30th July 2020

Electrical Safety Inspections (installations and appliances)

Introduction

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020 and will apply to all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020.

These new regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected at least every 5 years and tested by a person who is qualified and competent. Landlords will also have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants as well as to the local authority if requested.

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For most landlords in the private rented sector this will not require a change in behaviour. The majority of landlords already check their installations regularly so they can provide the safest homes possible. However to ensure every landlord can comply with these regulations, NAPIT have produced the following guidance on the requirements.

What the regulations say:

Private landlords must ensure every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person.

The regulations apply in England to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Following the inspection and testing, a private landlord must:

  • obtain a report from the person conducting that inspection and test, which gives the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next inspection and test
  • supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test
  • supply a copy of that report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that authority
  • retain a copy of that report until the next inspection and test is due and supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test
  • supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises; and any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that prospective tenant

Action needed in the event of an Unsatisfactory Report:

Where an Electrical Installation Safety Report identifies urgent remedial work or requires 'further investigation', the private landlord must ensure that the required work is carried out by a qualified and competent person within 28 days (or the period specified in the report if it is less than 28 days), starting with the date of the inspection and testing.

The landlord must then:

  • obtain written confirmation from a qualified person that further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met or the further investigative or remedial work is required
  • supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report which required the further investigative or remedial work to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work, and also to the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work.

Enforcement

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new regulations and can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 if they find a landlord is in breach of their duty.

Local authorities have the power to serve remedial notices on the private landlord. If the remedial notice is ignored and action is not taken with 28 days, the local authority can arrange remedial work to be carried out, with consent from the tenant, and recover the costs from the landlord.