Insights: Electrical Safety and Testing
Changes to electrical safety in the private rented sector

As of 1st June 2020, Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 makes it a legal requirement for all landlords in England to ensure that electrical installations within their properties are fit for use. The latest legislation is applicable to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. The Regulations apply in all cases where a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.

Whether renting a small or sizable residential or business premise, every tenant deserves to occupy a property that is safe.  Landlords who grant or intend to grant a specified tenancy must ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied, ensure that every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person; and ensure the first inspection and testing is carried out.

To ensure landlords fulfil the requirements set out by the Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, most landlords with privately rented properties must have an electrical installation condition report (EICR) carried out at least every 5 years by a qualified professional. If the inspection shows that remedial action is required, this must be completed within 28 days. If landlords fail to provide a regular, valid EICR, they risk incurring fines.

As part of a commitment to a higher standard of electrical safety, landlords must provide a copy of the EICR produced by a registered electrician to tenants within 4 weeks of inspection. If the property was constructed or rewired in the last five years, an EICR is not required, however, landlords must instead provide tenants with the electrical installation certificate as proof of electrical safety.

If landlords reside in the property with a lodger, the regulations set out do not apply. Landlords of an HMO or House in Multiple Occupation, whereby the property is rented out by at least 3 people not from the same family, must abide by the Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.  The Regulations state that a landlord must ensure that electrical safety standards are met and that investigative or remedial work is carried out if the report requires this.  If the report does not require investigative or remedial work, the landlord will not be required to carry out any further work.

This Regulation does not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations. It is recommended that landlords regularly carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on any electrical appliance that they provide and then supply tenants with a record of any electrical inspections carried out as good practice. Tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

If you are a landlord of a commercial property looking to remain compliant with the latest regulations, contact today to discuss our electrical safety and protection services.

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