The Electrical Safety Standards
in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 will come into effect
from 1 July 2020.
All private landlords will be
- Ensure that the electrical safety standards in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations published by the Institute of Engineering and Technology and the British Standards Institute as BS7671: 2018 are met during any period when the property is occupied by a tenant as their main or only home.
that every electrical installation in the property must be inspected every 5
years by a qualified person, who will provide a written report.
an inspection/testing report to all new tenants, all existing tenants within 28
days of the inspection, all prospective tenants within 28 days of a request for
the report and the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a written
out any investigative work recommended by a report within 28 days or any less a
period specified in the report and obtain confirmation that the work has been
done to a correct standard.
Subject to specific exclusions,
the new regulations will apply to all new tenancies commencing after 1 July
2020 and, from 1 April 2021, to all existing tenancies granted
before 1 July 2020.
There are exclusions for private
registered providers of social housing, lodgers, tenants sharing accommodation
with landlords, long leases (more than 7 years), student halls of residence,
hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices and other NHS provided
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing regulations. Where they have reasonable grounds to believe that a private landlord is in breach of the Regulations, the authority must, within 21 days of arriving at this belief, serve a remedial notice on the landlord setting out the breaches and actions required to remedy them. That action must then be taken within 28 days of the notice being served.
A landlord can make written
representations against a notice, in which case a notice will be suspended
until the local authority has considered those representations and reached a
If a landlord fails to carry out
the required works, the local authority may, with the tenant’s consent, carry
them out itself and charge the cost back to the landlord to pay within 21
days. This takes control of how the
works are undertaken and the cost of those works away from the landlord. The local authority also only has to ensure
the electrical works are done and does not need to deal with any potential
redecoration that may be required once those works have been completed.
Landlords do have a right of appeal against the local authority to the First-Tier Tribunal and there is dispensation for Landlords who are prevented by tenants from granting entry to their property to carry out works.
It is also possible for a local
authority to impose a Civil Penalty up to a maximum of £30,000 if they are
satisfied the Landlord has breached the Regulations. Those penalties can also be appealed at First
It is notable that the
Regulations do not contain a prohibition against Landlords serving Section 21
Notices to terminate tenancies, where there is a breach of the Regulations. This may be because the Government has
suggested an intention to discontinue the use of these notices in future.
The timescales that have been
imposed by the new Regulations are tight.
These were estimated at 4.5 million private rented dwellings in England
in 2017 according to the Office of National Statistics. This equates to approximately 230,000 checks
needing to be done for each of the next 19 months. It is unclear whether thought has been given
as to if there are sufficient number of qualified persons to undertake these
checks. Further, if Landlords are unable
to arrange for the checks to be undertaken, it is unclear whether the local
authorities will have the resources to deal with such high levels of
Landlords are recommended to book
in electrical checks sooner rather than later, to avoid being caught out by the
inevitable rush before the deadline in July.