The Draft Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (Electrical Safety Regulations) was laid before Parliament on 13 January 2020, under the power granted to the Secretary of State under Sections 122 and 123 of the Housing & Planning Act 2016. If the Electrical Safety Regulations are passed then they will relate to England only and will apply to new tenancies with effect from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies with effect from 1 April 2021.
The Electrical Safety Regulations will require private landlords to ensure that Electrical Safety Standards in the 2018 Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671:2018) are met whenever a property is let to a tenant. There will be a further duty on landlords to ensure that a qualified person inspects every fixed electrical installation at least every 5 years and issues a report. The landlord will be required to supply a copy of the report to each existing tenant within 28 days of inspection. If remedial work is required, the landlord must carry it out within 28 days or sooner, if specified in the report.
The Electrical Safety Regulations as drafted will apply to any tenancy of residential premises that grants one or more persons the right to occupy all or part of the premises as their only or main residence and which provides for payment of rent. Some tenancies will be excluded, including tenancies granted by social or resident landlords, long leases or tenancies granting a right of occupation for a term of 7 years or more, student lettings and Halls of Residence and any tenancies granted to occupiers of hostels, refugees, care homes, hospitals or hospices.
The power to enforce the Electrical Safety Regulations will sit with local authorities. It is expected that they will have different regimes applying to urgent and non-urgent remedial work. The local authorities will also be given the power to impose civil penalties on private landlords for breach of their obligations, up to a maximum fine of £30,000.