Electrical safety checks will have to be carried out in all private rental properties in England, according to Regulations now laid in Parliament.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 look set to become law from April 1 this year, initially applying to all new tenancies. Inspections are likely to be required of electrical installations from July 1.
By April 1, 2021, there would have to be electrical safety checks in all rental properties with existing tenancies.
Safety checks would then have to be done at five yearly intervals.
Copies of the report will have to be provided to prospective tenants on request, and given to new tenants before they move in.
The check-in report would also have to give the results of the inspection. Local councils can also request a copy of the report, which must be provided within seven days.
Any remedial work must be done within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.
Enforcement is by the local authority, which can order that work be done. Failure could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
With a large number of mandatory electrical inspections on the horizon, concerns are being raised at how busy – and available – electricians will be.
David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark, said: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.
“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”