Electrical Regulations 2020
After many years of saying that the Electrical Regulations would be coming in to force, the Government finally put forward The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.
What does this mean?
The new regulations came in to force on 1st April 2020 but were only effective from 1st July 2020. Landlords and agents are required to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1st July 2020 and by 1st April 2021 for all existing tenancies. It also required electrical tests to be carried at the point of renewing existing tenancies from 1st July 2020.
This new legislation clarifies the position for Landlords and Agents, as up to now it has only been a requirement to show due diligence and duty of care for the electrics to be checked, but not a legal requirement. It avoids what has been a very grey area and brings the electrical testing in line with the gas safety checks. Electrical tests will typically be valid for five years.
The Regulations require landlords to ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person or as stipulated by the electrical contractor.
• The landlord is required to obtain a report which gives the results of the inspection and test, supply that report to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.
• Any remedial works recommended by the electrical contractor must be carried out within 28 days and a completion certificate provided to the tenants.
• Upon request the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.
• The landlord must supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.
• The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules and have the power to arrange remedial action.
Proven breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000. It is however anticipated that initially a local housing authority will serve a 28 day notice to carry out a test and rectify any remedial works.
Many of you have already taken steps to have your electrical installations tested, but if this has not been carried out, then we recommend that this is done sooner rather than later, subject to access. Electrical contractors are in huge demand as expected. Typically the cost of carrying out the test is in the region of £100 to £130 +VAT, with the cost varying according to the size of the property. From past experience, where improvements are required to ensure a property complies with the regulations, it has usually been the fuse board that requires updating, with other minor fixes being required, such as plug sockets, light switches and earth bonding. Any remedial works are at an additional cost and will be quoted for following the initial test.
We recommend a Portable Appliance Test (PAT Test) is carried out at the same as having the electrical test and thereafter regular PAT tests should then be carried out every one to two years to show your due diligence. As mentioned Electrical tests will typically be valid for five years.
By 1st April 2021 all rented properties must have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report.
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