Everything you need to know about the new mandatory electrical safety regulations that came in to effect 01 July 2020

From today onwards, 01 July 2020, The Electrical Safety Standards In The Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, are in force.

With a potential penalty of up to £30,000 for non-compliance with the Electrical Safety Regulations, and a tight timeframe to organise electrical inspections, it will be a busy 6 months for electricians and landlords alike.

We’ve taken some time out to ensure you know all you need to know about these new regulations.

What type of tenancies do the electrical safety regulations apply to?

These regulations apply to all new residential tenancies (including renewals) where tenants have the right to occupy either all or part of a premises as their only or main residence, they pay a rent, and it is not listed as an excluded tenancy, from 1 July 2020 and from 1 April 2021 for all existing tenancies

The regulations currently only apply to rental properties in England only. And the regulations replace those already in place for HMOs.

When are the regulations effective from?

For new private tenancies entered into from 1st July 2020 and for existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.

What do landlords need to do?

There are essentially two key duties for private landlords, who must:

  • ensure that the standards for electrical installations in the eighteenth edition of the Wiring Regulations, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the British Standards Institution as BS 7671 are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy; and
  • ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years or, where the most recent report requires such intervals of less than 5 years, at the intervals specified in that report.

Initial inspections need to be carried out before any new tenancy is granted from 1st July 2020, and by 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies.

If the report identifies a breach, further investigations must be carried out within 28 days of the inspection, or within a shorter period if specified. Landlords should obtain written confirmation of completion of the remedial works and provide this within 28 days of completion to each existing tenant, and to the local authority.

To ensure you are compliant, feel free to contact us. If necessary, we can arrange for a qualified electrician to visit your property/properties via our Building & Maintenance service to carry out an inspection.

Report Requirements

Similar to a gas safety record, the most recent report must be given to any new tenant before that tenant occupies the premises, to existing tenants within 28 days of receiving it and it must also be given to any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request by them.

Inspection and Testing at Regular Intervals

The inspection and test must be conducted by a qualified person.

It’s important to note that the proposed 5 yearly interval is a “maximum”. If the report says it only lasts for one year (which is common), it will have to be inspected and tested again within one year. It will be crucial for landlords to ask how long the report will last (subject to there being no changes of course) before they employ any electrician to conduct the inspection.

Local Authority’s Powers to Compel Compliance

They have the power to demand sight of the report, which landlords should provide within 7 days of the request or they face a penalty.

They also have the power to serve a remedial notice on a landlord to compel them to comply with the regulations if they have reasonable grounds to believe the landlord is in breach.

Landlords have 28 days from the date the notice is received to remedy the breach, and if the work is not carried out in time then the local authority has the power to carry out the required works themselves (on providing prior written notice to the landlord) and then recover their costs from the landlord.

Penalties

Landlords who fail to comply with the regulations may face a civil penalty up to a maximum of £30,000, with the potential for multiple penalties to be imposed for a continuing failure

Relationship between the 2020 Electrical Safety Regulations and Section 21 Housing Act 1988 Notices

Failure to provide tenants with an electrical safety report at the start of their tenancies does not seem to invalidate a section 21 notice to terminate the tenancy, unlike evidence of failure to provide tenants with EPCs and gas safety certificates at the start of their tenancies.

Need to arrange for a new electrical safety certificate? 

 

Meet Hayley

Hayley joined us as our Property Manager in early 2020 with over 6 years lettings experience in London and Worthing.

Hayley covers all of our property management needs and having her with us really gives us the infrastructure to scale the lettings business in 2020. As such, we have recently launched our Building & Maintenance Services where anyone can request maintenance or building work quotes from local, JS recommended tradespeople.

Contact Hayley

 

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Meet Ollie

Ollie Whiting is the Lettings Manager at Jacobs Steel. Since re-launching our lettings department in 2018, Ollie has grown his team from scratch and helped hundreds of landlords and tenants with the highest quality of service that Jacobs Steel is known for.

His experience stems back over 6 years having worked for corporate and independent agencies; and he has dealt with a vast array of landlord requirements in that time. 

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