St Albans Landlords: New Electrical Safety Regulations are now in Force

As a landlord, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest safety regulations, to ensure that you’re acting in full compliance with the law. One of the more recent developments is the requirement to provide regular electrical checks for your tenants, to ensure their safety while they live in your property.

Here’s further information about it.

What are the new electrical safety regulations?

The law now states that all landlords operating in England must make sure that the electrics on their property are safe, and that they pose no threat to tenants. This takes the form of a regular electrical safety inspection, which must be carried out every five years, and by a ‘competent person’.

The new regulation also requires the landlord to obtain an Electrical Safety Certificate. A copy of this certificate must be made available to the authorities if requested, and the tenant must also be given a copy.

Here are a few other things to note:

-          The certificate should be given to the tenant within 28 days of the landlord receiving it.

-          New tenants must be given a copy of the certificate when they move into the property.

-          If the authorities request a copy of the certificate, the landlord must provide it within seven days.

What must the inspection cover?

The inspection tests various aspects of electrical safety within the property, such as:

-          The wiring

-          Plugs, sockets etc.

-          Fuse boxes

-          Consumer units

It doesn’t cover the testing of any appliances.

Frequently asked questions

Does this apply to my current tenants?

It applies for all tenancies, though the procedure is slightly different for new tenants than it is for existing ones.

-          New tenants (those who moved in on or after the 1st July 2020) require an electrical safety certificate when they move in, then every five years after that.

-          Existing tenants must be provided with a certificate within the 12 months ending 1st April, 2021. Then, as with new tenants, further inspections must be completed every five years.

Are there any exemptions?

The electrical safety regulation applies to the majority of tenancies, including HMOs. There are a few exceptions, which include:

-          Long leases (seven years or over)

-          Hostels

-          Care homes

-          Student accommodation

-          Lodger / landlord arrangements

What will the report include?

The inspector’s report will provide comments on the safety of the electrics as a whole, and will highlight any potential issues in the property. This might include things like bad wiring, or poorly carried-out electrical work.

It will also outline any work required, and assign each ‘problem area’ with a code-number, which indicates how severe the issue is. If it’s a ‘1’, this means that the electrics are already dangerous. ‘2’ means there’s a risk of injury, ‘3’ indicates that there’s potential for injury, ‘4’ means that further investigation is needed, and ‘5’ suggests that there’s room for improvement.

Of these codes, 1 to 4 must be addressed, and this is a legal requirement. If it’s a code ‘5’, the improvements are suggestions, and aren’t mandatory. Any work must be completed and confirmed (to the tenant and the necessary authorities) within 28 days.

Do I have to have the electrical safety check?

It’s now a legal requirement. If you don’t do it, you may be fined as much as £30,000.

If you would like further information on the points mentioned above, please get in touch with our friendly lettings team today; we’ll be happy to answer your questions.