New Safety Standards for Rental Properties

New Safety Standards for Rental Properties

A new regulation applying to tenancies came into force on 1 June 2020. It is imperative that Landlords understand how to comply with these regulations.

The New Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020 and applies to all new tenancies that come into effect from 1 July 2020 and will also apply to all existing tenancies from the 1st April 2021.

What do landlords need to do to be compliant with the new electrical safety standards?

The regulations make it a requirement for private landlords to ensure that their electrical installations are checked every 5 years and similar to the gas safety regime, safety certificates will have to be provided to the tenant:

  • Within 28 days of the inspection.
  • To a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • To any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • If a local authority makes a request for this report, they need to be provided with a copy within 7 days also.

When an inspection of electrical installations is carried out and further remedial or investigative work is necessary, these works will have to be completed within 28 days of the original inspection, unless a shorter period is considered necessary in which case this will be the date that applies. Once these remedial works have been completed, evidence will need to be provided in writing to the tenant (and local authority if applicable) within 28 days of completion.

Who should carry out the testing under the new regulations?

When a landlord arranges an inspection, it will be the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the person carrying out the test is qualified to carry out the work and give the relevant certificate. The person carrying out the inspection will need to sign a checklist certifying their competence, give confirmation that they have insurance cover and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Regulations.

Do the regulations apply to electrical appliances?

The regulations only apply to fixed electrical installations and don’t cover household electrical appliances such as cookers, fridges and televisions. That said, it is always recommended that a landlord regularly carries out portable appliance testing (PAT) on any electrical appliance that they provide to their tenants and keep a report of that testing. Tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

What are the consequences of not complying with the new regulations?

If landlords fail to comply with these regulations, local authorities can serve remedial notices forcing compliance. If the landlord still defaults, they can step in and arrange repairs directly, recovering the cost from the landlord or fining them up to £30,000 for non-compliance.

What if my tenant won’t give me access the property?

In the event that a tenant refuses to allow the landlord access to a property, the landlord should keep a record of all its efforts to comply with the Regulations. Usually, a well-drafted tenancy agreement will make a provision for a landlord to have access for things like this and if it is really critical, you can make an application to the court for access.

How Blaser Mills Law can help

If you would like further information on complying with the new Regulations, or on general requirements when letting out a residential property, please contact Sangita Manek at sam@blasermills.co.uk or on 01494 770980