The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (‘the Regulations’) require landlords in England to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every five years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants and to their local authority, if requested.
Most tenancies are caught by the regulations, although a number of tenancies, including long leases, tenancies granting a right of occupation for a term of seven or years or more, social, or resident landlords, care homes, and licences for lodgers (where the occupier is sharing accommodation with the landlord) are excluded.
The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020, requiring all landlords who took on new tenants from this date to have all fixed electrical installations inspected and tested by a qualified person before the start of the tenancy.
Landlords of existing tenancies (signed before the Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020) must now also ensure that all fixed electrical installations in their properties are inspected by 1 April 2021. It does not appear that this deadline will be extended, despite the complications caused by the current pandemic. Landlords who fail to comply with the Regulations are liable to face fines of up to £30,000.
Since the Regulations came into force, the Government has issued guidance for landlords on these Regulations which can be found here.
Due to Covid-19, it is more complicated for Landlords and agents to enter properties and carry out inspections, tests, and any remedial work. Landlords and agents should ensure that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the Regulations as well as complying with the Government’s safety guidelines for people who work in other people’s homes. Landlords and agents should keep a paper trail of all documentation and correspondence they have had with tenants and electricians regarding these works, and any responses they receive.