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New regulations (The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020) have been introduced that mean that from June 1 2020, private landlords have new duties. They will be enforced by local housing authorities and remedial action could be taken with potentially significant financial penalties for a breach of duty.
To which tenancies do the regulations apply?
The Regulations cover private tenancies only and outline specific excluded tenancies.
What are the duties under the regulations?
The regulations impose various duties in relation to electrical installations on private landlords. The duties include:
- ensuring that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy;
- ensuring every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person;
- ensuring the first inspection and testing is carried out before the tenancy commences;
- obtaining a report which gives the results of the inspection and test, supplying copies to the tenant and the housing authority and retaining a copy until the next inspection is due;
- supplying a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from them;
- carrying out any work required in the report within 28 days;
- obtaining and supplying written confirmation of completion of such further investigative or remedial work to the tenant and local housing authority.
Remedies for breach and financial penalties
A financial penalty can also be imposed on a private landlord who has breached a duty. The regulations set out the procedure and there is a right of appeal. The penalty may be of such amount as the authority imposing it determines but must not exceed £30,000 and there may be more than one penalty in the event of a continuing failure.
If you would like our help and advice in any area of health and safety management, please get in touch with our Health and Safety Management Team on 01302 341 344.
By Rachel Cuff CMIOSH – Risk Consultant