Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020



The long awaited new regulations which increase landlord’s obligations for electrical safety testing come into effect on 1 July 2020 for all new lettings, and 1 April 2021 for existing lettings.  There appears to be no allowance for Coronavirus at the moment and it is anticipated there will be a spike in demand for electricians before next April and then every five years so the advice is to get the house in line with the new regulations now.

The regulations apply to every property or premises which constitute the occupier’s main or only home, where rent is paid or wages are offset for accommodation, and where the leasing/licencing/occupation arrangement is for a fixed term of less than seven years with no break clauses, which includes properties in Farm Business Tenancies and Agricultural Holdings Act agreements  The only real exceptions therefore are FBTs over seven years, holiday homes, or seasonal worker accommodation.

The requirement is to undertake an electrical safety inspection by a competent electrician and provide a copy of the certificate to the tenant within 28 days.  The property must be re-tested within the recommended timescale on the certificate – which is likely to be five or ten  years.   Any remedial work must be done within 28 days and a certificate of completion, or revised inspection certificate, provided to the tenant.  Instructions to electricians should take include a requirement to report on works required very quickly to plan the remedial works efficiently.

The regulations  apply to the landlord of every let property – i.e. if a Farm Business Tenancy or commercial tenancy is on full repairing terms, the landlord must ensure the certification is in place, even if in practice this is done by ensuring the tenant has done it.

The responsibility falls directly on the landlord, so the head tenant is responsible where farm cottages are sub-let.

The full legislation can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934