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

On the 12th January 2020, the Government laid in Parliament, ‘The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’. The draft legislation still requires approval from the House of Commons and the House of Lords, but it’s intended that the new Regulations will come into force on 1st June 2020 and apply to England only.

The new Regulations are intended to improve electrical safety and require inspection and testing, including any necessary remedial work to be carried out on electrical installations within the private rented sector, at intervals not exceeding five years.

In the UK, any property that is privately owned and being rented out as housing is classified as private rented sector housing, this includes Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). The new regulations replace the existing requirements for electrical testing of HMOs.

These regulations apply to private landlords for all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. An ‘existing specified tenancy’ means a specified tenancy which was granted before the coming into force of these regulations, a ‘new specified tenancy’ means a specified tenancy which is granted on or after these regulations come into force.

Local Authorities (LA) are required to enforce the new legislation and can impose a fine of up to £30,000 for a breach of these Regulations, where there are multiple breaches, the LA can impose multiple penalties.

It’s difficult to accurately predict the number of private rented properties in England but Ministry of Housing and Local Governments (MHCLG) carried out the English Housing Survey (EHS) in 2018-19, the data released estimates that there are 4.6 million private rented households, which now accounts for 19% of all households, this number has almost doubled since 2002.

The term ‘electrical safety standards’ is cited throughout the new Regulations, this means the standards for electrical installations and specifically refers to the Eighteenth Edition of the Wiring Regulations, BS 7671:2018+A1:2020.

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