26th January 2021
An update to the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector has come into force in England. The new Regulations, which came into effect on 1st June 2020, apply to new tenancies, including renewals, are designed to ensure the safety of tenants within the private rented sector.
The Regulations place a continuous duty on landlords to maintain electrical safety standards at their rental property by undertaking regular, independent safety inspections and any necessary works to ensure the electrical installations are safe. This means rented properties in England must meet the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and landlords must supply evidence that a qualified person has inspected the property.
It is important that both landlords and electricians fully comprehend the new Regulations and the obligations they will need to meet moving forward. For electrical contractors and electricians, it is vital to understand the requirements in order to ensure ongoing compliance and to correctly advise landlord clients.
The Regulations stipulate that landlords must always:
The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and existing tenancies must meet the new requirements from 1st April 2021.
Properties that have had EICRs prior to the 18th Edition but less than five years old will be considered valid for the purposes of this regulation. Further work will only be compulsory where the inspection requests further remedial or investigative work.
Investigative work must be carried out by a person qualified to the current version of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671).
To help landlords find a qualified person to carry out electrical safety testing on their property, the Government advises landlords to employ those registered with its ‘Competent Person Scheme’. As electricians registered with this scheme need to meet strict qualification requirements and regular assessments of their work. The facility (although not obligatory) is an important tool in reassuring landlords their electrical inspector is compliant with Building Regulations and able to work in households and undertake electrical safety tests.
For more information about the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 visit: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934