New Safety Rules for Residential Landlords – April 2021 – What does it mean for Tenants and Landlords? (by Jessie Smith)
The new Electrical Safety Standards in Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on the 1st April 2021 and require private sector landlords to monitor the safety of the electrical systems in their properties as well as making any necessary inspections and improvements.
What are the duties of Landlords under the New Safety Rules?
- Electrical instillations to be inspected and tested at least every five years followed by a copy of the safety report to go to the tenant within 28 days.
- Ensure that national standards for electrical safety are met.
- A safety report should also be given to a new tenant before they move in.
- A copy of the report must be sent to any local authority within 7 days of request.
- Complete any remedial or further investigative work shown by the report within 28 days or less if specified by the inspector.
What are the affected properties?
- Regulations apply to all private tenants who pay rent and occupy the property. They also apply to properties which are occupied by multiple parties who share facilities.
Who will enforce the Regulations?
- Local Authorities can enforce the new safety rules if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a landlord is in breach of the rules.
- If this is the case, the Local Authority will serve the landlord with a remedial notice and if this is not complied with the authority can step in to arrange a completion of the necessary work and then they will recover the cost from the landlord.
- Local Authorities also have the power to impose a penalty on the landlord for the breach of regulations ( with a notice of intent ) which the landlord has the right to appeal within 28 days of the notice.
Who can carry out the Inspections?
Inspections must be carried out be a qualified professional. Landlords can choose an inspector who is a member of the Competent Person scheme established by the electrical safety industry however the landlord can also choose a non-member and have them sign a checklist to verify their qualifications. Fixed electrical parts of the property such as wiring, and sockets must be inspected although the new rules do not apply to appliances such as refrigerators or cookers, but these still should be regularly checked.
Issues an inspector would be looking for include:
- Fire hazards
- Electrical shock risks
- Defective electrical work
Here an MLS we are regularly instructed by landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478 730 , we will be happy to help.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us for advice.