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Electrical Safety Standards 2020 Made Easy

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Wed 12 Aug 2020

Electrical Safety Standards 2020 Made Easy

There is a huge amount of legislation in place to protect us all from so many things and the property market has more than its’ fair share.  Such legislation is naturally in place to ensure landlords and tenants honour their commitments to one another. It can be a real minefield keeping up to date with changes from a landlord’s perspective though. 

Working with a professional lettings agent helps to substantially ease the burden.  This is worth bearing in mind since some of the penalties for infringements can include a prison sentence. 

The safety of tenants is the primary concern when it comes to most landlord legal obligations.  Historically, rogue landlords paid scant attention to basic maintenance with disastrous outcomes and long term impact felt by both landlord and tenant.  This new legislation aims to ensure all repaired electrical installations in rental properties are well maintained and create no safety issues.  Thanks to such laws, significant safety incidents are mostly avoided.

The recent Electrical Safety Standards legislation affects private lettings in England and is applicable only to newly created tenancies from 1 July 2020.  The new legislation will be exended to include all existing tenancies as well as new tenancies from 1 April 2021

Which tenancies do these new rules affect?

Assured shorthold tenancies, assured tenancies, licenses to occupy, secure tenancies, Rent Act tenancies, rent agricultural tenancies and Non-Housing Act tenancies are all affected by the new rules.  However, some tenancies are excluded including:

  • social housing
  • shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family
  • long leases
  • student halls of residence
  • hostels and refuges
  • care homes

Statutory periodic tenancies, contractual periodic tenancies and renewed tenancies are all considered to be new tenancies under the legislation.

An appropriately qualified electrician must be appointed to carry out the safety testing and be able to issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or a suitable alternative report. Basically an acceptable report should include details of the inspection/test results and confirm when the next inspection/test is due.

Penalties can be severe for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance with current legislation can be significant.  In this case, fines of up to £30,000 can be imposed.  However, local authorities do have to serve appropriate notice within six months from when the landlord became in breach of the rules and allow an opportunity for appeal before the fine can be applied.

Key points landlords and tenants must understand

Under the 1 July 2020 legislation there are some key points to bear in mind:

  • A suitably qualified person must inspect/test fixed electrical cables and electrical equipment in the property in line with the 18th edition wiring regulations. Existing 18th edition wiring reports should be checked to ensure the installation is still deemed safe and complies with the new rules.
  • Electrical Safety Inspections must be carried out five yearly as a minimum.
  • Following an inspection, any remedial works which are advised must be completed within 28 days of the report date or less (the dates should be specified in the report).
  • Ten year electrical safety certificates dated five years ago or more will not be compliant under the new rules even if the certificates appear valid.

Click for more details about the implications of the Electrical Safety Standards of 2020./span

Sheridan Sales and Lettings are happy to offer free advice to any tenant or landlord about the Electrical Safety Standards legislation of 2020 and how it will affect them.  If you would like to learn more please do call on   01366 858228 email us on