New Electrical Safety Regulations for Private Landlords

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Subject to approval by the Houses of Parliament – landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies.

The Regulations require landlords to ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.

  • The landlord is required to obtain an Electrical Safety report and supply a copy to each new tenant prior to occupation or within 28 days. The agent should also retain a copy until the next inspection is due.
  • Upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.
  • The regulations allow the local housing authorities to enforce the legislation and have the power to arrange remedial action.
  • Proven breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

With the final legislation still to be confirmed, our understanding is that failure to provide tenants with an electrical safety report at the start of their tenancies does not seem to invalidate a Section 21 (Form 6A) notice to terminate the tenancy, unlike evidence of failure to provide tenants with EPCs and gas safety certificates at the start of their tenancies.

The mandatory nature of the new 2020 electrical safety regulations and the high potential penalties for failure to comply may have been regarded as enough incentive for landlords to comply with the regulations. It is also possible that the proposed abolition of section 21 notices explains this omission. Time will surely tell with the impending 1st July 2020 deadline to provide electrical safety reports to new tenants.

Some tenancies are however, excluded from the electrical safety regulations and these are private registered providers of social housing, lodger arrangements, long leases or tenancies which grant a right of occupation for a term of 7 years or more.  Student lettings in halls of residence and tenancies granted to occupiers of hostels, refuges, care homes, hospitals, hospices and other accommodation provided as a result of a duty imposed on an NHS body.

 

 

Ref: ARLA & Blake Morgan

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