New Electrical Safety Standards in force for landlords from June 2020

The Government has been in consultation for a number of years putting draft legislation into place regarding electrical safety in privately rented properties.

This piece of legislation will be a statutory instrument and will formally be known as The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

The standard is concerned with ensuring that private lettings meet the acceptable electrical safety standards for their tenants.

These new regulations will place responsibility on private landlords to ensure that the electrical installation is safe and provides a means of putting enforcement action into place.

What’s changing?

The regulations come in to force on the 1st of June 2020 and will only be applicable in England.

New tenancies will have to comply with the regulations by the 1st of July 2020 and existing tenancies have until the 1st of April 2021 to comply with the regulations.

 

The regulations give landlords specific duties for which they are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the electrical safety standards are met during a tenancy (in this case electrical safety standard means complying with the 18th Edition of BS 7671)
  • Ensuring that the installation is inspected and tested by a qualified person at regular intervals
  • Regular intervals are a minimum of every 5 years, or at less than 5 years if specified in the most recent inspection report

 

Landlords also have several responsibilities involving the inspection report itself, including:

  • A copy of the report must be given to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection
  • If a local housing authority requests a copy of the report it must be supplied within 7 days
  • Supply a copy of the report to the person carrying out the next inspection
  • They must also supply a copy to any new tenant before the tenant occupies the premises

 

The key thing now is that local housing authorities have the ability to impose a ‘remedial notice’ upon a landlord who they have reason to believe is in breach of any of the points in the regulations. The landlord then has 28 days to comply with the remedial notice, failure to do so can result in a fine up to £30,000 being imposed.

Certain types of property are excluded from these regulations, they include:

  • Private registered providers of social housing
  • Shard accommodation with landlord
  • Long leases i.e. those that have an occupation of 7 years or more
  • Student halls of residence
  • Hostels and refuges
  • Care homes
  • Hospitals and hospices

Who can carry out an inspection?

The regulations require a ‘qualified person’ to carry out the testing and inspection of an installation. Qualified in this case means a person competent to carry out the testing and inspection and any further investigative or remedial work in accordance with the electrical safety standards.

It is important to note that a Level 2 Inspection, Testing and Initial Verification qualification such as City and Guilds 2392 would not deem you to be competent to carry out periodic inspection and testing as required by these new regulations.

We would recommend that anyone either currently holding a Level 2 Inspection and Testing qualification or looking to expand their existing testing and inspection skills consider taking our EAL Level 3 Testing & Periodic Package. As the new regulations are implemented, the demand for periodic inspections will increase and you could position yourself and your business to take advantage of this opportunity.

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