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Private Rented Sector Electrical Safety Standards

Posted: 17/01/2020

The Government has this week published The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 which has finally outlined their intentions to formalise mandatory electrical installation inspection and testing in the Private Rented Sector. The legislation has been in consultation for a number of years but has received cross party support and it is anticipated that there will be no issues with the draft statutory instrument progressing through both Houses of Parliament on its passage to becoming law.

Key points that landlords need to note are:

·         Requirement to carry out electrical installation inspection and testing report on all new tenancies from 1st July 2020, and on existing tenancies from 1st April 2021

·         Undertaking of any necessary remedial works within 28 days of notification, or sooner if specified

·         Requirement to produce and serve the report upon a tenant within 28 days of completion

·         A regime of continued testing at 5 year intervals (or more frequently if deemed on the report)

·         Enforcement by Local Housing Authorities, with financial penalties up to £30,000

Adam Powell, Associate & Head of our Residential Management Team commented ‘Whilst landlords have been encouraged to undertake these electrical reports as good practice only now will legislation ensure a consistent approach to safety across the industry. Recent tragedies have highlighted that electrics can be one of the most common causes of domestic fires. Landlords should embrace clarity in an area of the law that has never been clear, whilst tenants will welcome set minimum standards for private rented properties.’

Investors need to be conscious of the tight proposed timescales which will inevitably lead to a sharp rise in demand for production of these reports from a limited pool of appropriately qualified electricians. Similarly, electrical legislation changes over the last 20 years mean that the vast majority of homes in the UK will not meet current regulations and may require significant remedial works to become compliant. Walker Singleton advise a pro-active approach in reviewing your portfolio and instructing reports where required in preparation for the new laws.

For further advice contact our residential property management team and ask to speak to one of our experienced negotiators.