Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector

June 4, 2020
Claire-Elaine Arthurs


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The Electrical Safety Regulations were made on 18 March 2020 and come into force on 1 June 2020 in England.  

The Regulations apply to new tenancies with effect from 1 July 2020 and existing specified tenancies with effect from 1 April 2021.  A new tenancy is defined as one granted on or after 1 June 2020, while an existing tenancy is defined as one granted before 1 June 2020.  This means that any tenancies being granted from 1 June 2020 onwards, have until 1 July 2020 to ensure that they are compliant.  

Where the Regulations apply, they require private landlords to ensure that the Electrical Safety Standards in the 2018 Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671:2018) are met whenever those premises are occupied under a tenancy.  This means that landlords must ensure that a qualified person conducts an electrical inspection at least every 5 years and issues a report.  The landlord must copy the report to each existing tenant within 28 days of inspection.  They must also supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of request from that prospective tenant being made.  

The Regulations apply to any tenancy of residential premises that grants one or more person the right to occupy all or part of the premises as their only or main residence and which provides for a payment of rent.  There are certain tenancies that are excluded including tenancies granted by social or resident landlords, long leases or tenancies granting a right of occupation for 7 years or more (where there is no break right), student lettings and halls of residence and tenancies granted to occupiers of hostels, refuges, care homes, hospitals or hospices.  

Enforcement will be undertaken via local authorities, who are able to impose civil penalties and fines of up to £30,000.