New Regulations place further obligations on Private Landlords

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30 June, 2020

Private landlords have certain obligations at the outset of a new tenancy to ensure that the property they are letting out meets certain safety requirements. Electrical safety checks have not formed part of these obligations until more recently, when the government announced the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/312) ("the Regulations") earlier this year.

The Regulations

The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and impose a number of duties on private landlords in relation to electrical installations in rented properties.

Where the Regulations apply, private landlords are required to ensure that electrical safety standards at their rented property comply with the IET wiring regulations and that an electrical safety inspection is carried out every five years.

Electrical Safety Inspections

The Regulations require landlords to have a person of sufficient qualification inspect the electrical installations within their rented property every five years.

Following every inspection, a report must be produced and a copy of this report must be passed on to each existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection. A copy of this report should also be supplied to every new tenant before they occupy the premises.

When do the Regulations apply?

The Regulations apply to any private 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 the payment of rent.

A private landlord must comply with the Regulations by 1 July 2020 in respect of any new specified tenancy entered into on or after 1 June 2020.

Private landlords of existing specified tenancies have until 1 April 2021 to comply with the Regulations.

Are there any exceptions?

Not all tenancies are required to comply with the Regulations. Schedule 1 to the Regulations provides a list of excluded tenancies, including:

  1. Social housing;
  2. Shared accommodation with the landlord or their family;
  3. Long leaseholds;
  4. Student halls of residence;
  5. Hostels and refuges;
  6. Care homes;
  7. Hospitals and hospices; and
  8. NHS provided accommodation.

What happens if I fail to carry out an electrical safety check?

Where a local authority is satisfied that a private landlord has breached its duty under the Regulations to carry out an electrical safety check, that authority may impose a financial penalty on the private landlord, up to the sum of £30,000.

For more information contact Laura Hallett Lea in our Dispute Resolution department via email or phone on 0333 207 1141. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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