To simply put. Yes. That is, as of the 1st of July 2020. On the 13th of January 2020, the Government announced new regulations that landlords must obey. These are outlined as mandatory electrical safety inspections to be carried out. Currently, electrical inspections are only legally required for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation). For other landlords dealing with private tenancies, there initially was no set law to keep to. However, 3 in 4 landlords choose willingly to carry out inspections for their own peace of mind.
When do the new regulations come into force?
The new regulations officially came into force on the 1st of April 2020. They will apply to all new tenancies as of the 1st of July 2020. It will then be applied to all existing tenancies as of the 1st of April 2021.
What does this mean for landlords?
The new regulations now set the following duties for landlords:
- Ensure safety standards are met during the tenancy period
- Ensure each and every electrical installation in the property is tested every 5 years by a qualified electrician (unless been tested and told to retest sooner)
- Ensure the initial inspection is conducted before a new tenancy
- Ensure that the initial investigation is carried by the 1st of April 2021 for current tenancies.
- Receive a report from the qualified electrician including the results along with the date for the next testing
- Send a copy of the report to tenants on the property within a month following the inspection
- Send a copy of the report to the local housing authority within a week of receiving the request from the organisation
- Keep a copy of the report to give to the next qualified electrician who carries out the following inspection, also landlords may benefit from keeping a copy should they ever decide to sell the property
- Supply a copy to potential tenants who request to view it
For more information on the new electrical safety regulations and standards, visit the governments website.
What is the purpose of this inspection?
The purpose is to find any of the following potential threats which may arise from an inferior electrical system:
- Potential fire hazards and/ or electric shock risks
- Ensure no defective electrical work
- To find any lack of bonding or earthing
- Find any overloading of electrical circuits or components
What happens if electrics are found to be unsafe?
If the inspection finds any problems with the property’s electrical system, then the landlord needs to rectify all faults by hiring a qualified electrician immediately. This work must be carried out within 28 days, or however long the report states if sooner (starting from the inspection date). Following this, the landlord must then gain written confirmation from the qualified electrician that the correct work has been carried out and the electrical safety standards are fully met. A copy of this confirmation must then be sent to the tenant/s, local authorities, and a copy kept for future reference.