On 1st June 2020 major changes to the electrical safety standards came into force for the private rented sector in England to apply from 1st July 2020 for all new residential tenancies and from 1st April 2021 for all existing tenancies.

The regulations require landlords ensure that all fixed electrical installations (such as light sockets, plug sockets, fridge/freezers, ovens, etc) are safe and maintained on a regular basis. This means that they must be inspected and tested every five years by a NAPIT or NICEIC qualified person in compliance with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations.

Once an inspection and test has been completed the landlord will be given an Electrical Installation Safety Report. This will state what tests were done, the results of the tests, and the date the next inspection and test is due.

The landlord must supply a copy of this report to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test. Any new tenant should be given a copy of the most recent test before they move in.

If the report finds that further ‘remedial’ work is needed to meet the standards, this will have to be carried out by a qualified person within 28 days of the report (or the period specified in the report if less than 28 days).

A landlord or letting agent will not be in breach of their duty to comply with a remedial notice – for example if they cannot find a qualified person or a tenant denies them access to the property – if they can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.

An electrical installation does not need to comply with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations if it is deemed to be safe. If in any doubt, a landlord should contact an electrical inspector to decide whether the installation complies with the electrical safety standards.

Once an inspection and test has been carried out the report will be valid for five years and will cover a change of tenancy. It is not needed for every new tenancy.

For newly-built properties or those which have been completely rewired, an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC), valid for five years, should have been provided at handover.

If you are a landlord or a tenant and you have any questions about these new requirements, please contact David Munday at david@vespergroup.co.uk for further information and guidance.