After years of campaigning to improve electrical safety standards in the private rented sector (PRS) draft regulations have now been laid before Parliament to ensure all PRS properties meet minimum Electrical Safety Standards.
Subject to due parliamentary process, these regulations are to come into force for new tenancies from 1st July 2020, and for any existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.
Once the regulations are passed, Landlords will need to ensure the electrical safety standards in the 2018 edition of the IET wiring regulations (BS7671:2018) are met whenever the premises are let.
Properties that already hold a valid electrical installation condition report will not need to replace this for 5 years from the issue date.
From 1st July 2020 all new private tenancies in England will, need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and, tested by a qualified person before the tenancy begins.For existing tenancies this will come into effect from 1 April 2021.
standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy”, specifically it appears that landlords will be required to:
Local authorities can arrange for remedial work to be done and recover costs from the landlord. They can also impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a breach of these regulations.
Enforcement options for the tenant however appears to be less straightforward. There is, for instance, no restriction on the ability for the landlord to serve a Section 21 notice.
But Part 6 of the regulations adds a new condition to mandatory or additional or selective licenses (via Schedule 4 Housing Act 2004) to the effect that:
Breach of condition of a licence under s.95 Housing Act 2004 is a Rent Repayment Order offence.
Otherwise, Tenants it appears do not appear to have much recourse (or compensation) beyond a complaint to the Local Authority – save, of course that an unsafe electrical installation will fall under s.9A, and possibly s.11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
Although the regulations have not been enforced, it is highly likely the Bill will be passed through Parliament shortly. Accordingly, Landlords should start undertaking electrical inspections as soon as possible to ensure that all tenancies are compliant ahead of the 1st April 2021 deadline.
Watch this space for further details will follow.