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Guidance on Electrical Safety Standards in Private Rented Accommodation

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New regulations are soon to come into force which apply to landlords, tenants and local authorities on electrical safety standards in the private rented sector.

The Regulations will apply from 1 July 2020 to a tenancy agreement which was signed on or after 1 June 2020; or alternatively, from 1 April 2021 to a tenancy agreement which was signed before 1 June 2020.

The regulations will apply to most  leases of residential premises. Certain tenancies such as long leases for more than seven years are excluded.

I have set out below what the new Regulations are to impose on landlords, tenants and local authorities and how they may affect you if you fall into one of these categories. I will run through each affected party in turn. 

Landlords will have a duty to find a "qualified and competent" person to inspect the property at least every five years and must produce a report within 28 days of the inspection. The 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 a prospective tenant.

Landlords will not be in breach of duty to comply with a remedial notice if the landlord can show that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with it.

Tenants will now be able to assess whether their home is covered by the Regulations.

If it is, they will be able to find out what will be inspected and tested, what will happen during the electrical inspection and what will occur after the inspection. 

Local Authorities
In terms of Local Authorities, the Regulations help to set out their duties and enforcement powers. These include: 

  1. Sending remedial notices when landlords are not meeting obligations under the Regulations.
  2. Carrying out remedial action for tenants.
  3. Issuing financial penalties to landlords for their failure to comply with the Regulations.

Please note that Local authorities will have power to enforce the regulations and can impose civil penalties up to a maximum of £30,000.