The new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) will come into force shortly on 1 June 2020, and from 1 July 2020 will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies for all new tenancies granted on or after 1 June 2020. This means that all private sector landlords will need to be compliant with the Regulations for a new tenancy by 1 July 2020. The Regulations will apply to existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

The Regulations require landlords to do the following:
  • Ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every 5 years;
  • Arrange for the inspection and testing to be carried out by a qualified and competent person;
  • Obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test and provide this to the tenant within 28 days of the test and inspection being carried out;
  • Retain a copy of the inspection and test until the next inspection is due and supply this to the person carrying out the next inspection;
  • Supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant before the tenant occupies the premises or supply a copy of the most recent report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a written request from that prospective tenant.
In the event that an Electrical Installation Safety Report records an unsatisfactory verdict, meaning that urgent remedial work has been identified or further investigations are required, the landlord must ensure that any works are carried out by a qualified and competent person within 28 days or the period specified in the report if less than 28 days, starting with the date of the inspection and testing.
Any professional carrying out further works should provide the landlord with written confirmation that further works have been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met or that further works are required. It is imperative that the landlord obtains this written confirmation as it must be supplied to all of the tenants together with a copy of the report within 28 days of completion of the further works. The local housing authority must also receive a copy of both documents within 28 days of completion of the further works.
The local housing authority are responsible for enforcing the Regulations and can impose fines of up to £30,000 if it is found that a landlord has breached their duty. The local housing authority can also serve remedial notices on the landlord. If this is ignored and not acted upon within 28 days, the housing authority can arrange remedial work to be carried out, with consent from the tenant, and will recover the costs from the landlord.
It is important to note that non-compliance with the Regulations does not have an impact on the service of a Section 21 notice, as is the case with gas safety certificates and Energy Performance Certificates. Nevertheless, the Regulations should still be treated as an important obligation of the landlord in ensuring a safe private rental property.