New electrical safety rules for landlords
The government has announced moves to tighten the electrical safety rules for the private rental sector. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will introduce mandatory five-year electrical installation checks in England as soon as parliamentary time allows.
The changes will be introduced in two phases, with letting agents and landlords having six months to become familiar with the new legislation.
According to the government, these new rules are part of efforts to drive up standards in the private rented sector.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants.
“These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes.
“It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks.”
Ministers will publish guidance setting out minimum qualifications required by anyone carrying out electrical inspections of a rental property. Landlords could face tough financial penalties if they don’t comply with the new rules.
A transitional two-year period will see the change apply to all new private tenancies in year one, with existing tenancies coming under the legislation in year two.
Properties which already have a valid electrical installation condition report will not need to replace it until five years after it was issued.
Commenting on its website, ARLA Propertymark, the regulatory body for letting agents said: “We welcome the requirement for inspectors to hold the correct qualification and a level of competency, as we have previously called for a competent person scheme specific to private rented sector electrical testing.
“The government must ensure that there is sufficient time for practical implementation to take place. There will be a limited number of practitioners qualified to complete the checks. The rules need to be easy to understand and comply with, for both property professionals and their tenants.”