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Fines warning in safety rules update

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Local authorities may now impose fines of up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach of their electrical safety duties, the Government has warned in newly updated Guide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 apply in all cases where a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.

The regulations require landlords to:

  • Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at an interval of at least every 5 years.
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

Guidance to tenants has also been published.

Other recently updated government advice to landlords includes: