New Electrical Regulations for Landlords

Published: 30/01/2020 By Felicity Blair

An early bird notification to landlords — time to electricertify!
You probably heard about it on the grapevine — another new obligation for landlords to take on board. Not surprising really, given that fire is so horribly topical at the moment.
Draft legislation on electrical safety standards in the private rented sector (PRS) presented in Parliament on 20th January 2020, proposes that mandatory electrical safety checks be carried out on all properties prior to being let. They must be carried out at five-year intervals They will apply to all new tenancies from July 1st this year and all existing tenancies from April 2021. Failure to comply could incur a fine of up to £30,000.

Current safety requirements
Currently, only the managers of mandatory HMOs are obliged to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report and update it five yearly, for more info click here… Landlords of smaller properties are merely obliged to keep the electrics in their properties in decent working order to confirm they are safe for use.

New regulations from the 1st July 2020 
Updated guidelines make it compulsory for all agents and private landlords to ensure ALL electrical installations (appliances included) are tested by a qualified person, irrespective of occupancy. Furthermore, the responsibility is on the landlord to:

  • obtain a report from the person conducting that inspection and test, giving detailed results and outlining the date of the next inspection/test
  • supply a copy of the report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection/test
  • supply a copy of the report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it 
  • retain a copy of the report until the next inspection and test is due and supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection/ test

Landlords must supply a copy of the most recent report to:

  • any new tenant entering the property, before they move in
  • any tenant interested in the property, within 28 days of them making a request in writing

A copy of the draft legislation can be found on the government website.

Whilst this seems like another unwelcome cost for the landlord to have to bear, in the context of the aftermath of Grenfell Tower, there are probably very few that would begrudge their tenants proof of fire and electrical safety. In a bid to minimise landlord risk and cost, we have recommended for some years that unessential appliances such as microwaves, kettles or lamps be removed from your property.  Although the legislation is still five months away, some of our landlords are already asking for us to undertake certification.  At Roy Brooks, we have trusted and qualified contractors who carry out such tests, so you can be sure that you, your property and your tenants sleep sound.

Roy Brooks also offer a comprehensive lettings and property management service and provide guidance and information for landlords covering all the regulatory and legal requirements when letting a property. Below you will find a list of just a few of the many areas to which rules and regulations affecting the landlord apply. If would like further information on these, please contact us to see how we can help.

A recap of changes to lettings regulation in the last 12 months 

Tenant Fee Ban 1st June 2019

Security Deposit Cap 1st June 2019

Compulsory Client Money Protection 1st April 2019

Lowering of mortgage interest tax relief 6th April 2017 (to be phrased out by April 2020)

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 20th March 2019
Having come into force on last spring, this requires that landlords ensure their property is free of any hazards and is fit for human habitation. Properties breaching the updated legislation will be liable for court action from tenants. The Act amends the existing Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 by extending the obligations in that legislation.