The government has announced that from 1 July 2020, all new private tenancies in England will need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person before the tenancy begins.
The new regulations were laid in parliament on Tuesday and will require approval from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords before they come into force.
Under the proposed new rules, all landlords will have to ensure that the installation is inspected and tested at least every five years. For existing tenancies, an electrical safety test will need to be carried out by 1 April 2021, with regular tests following this.
All properties across the private rented sector, including Homes with Multiple Occupants (HMOs), are subject to the new regulations. The regulations will replace the existing requirements for HMOs regarding electrical installation testing and inspection.
Once the electrical installation has been tested, the landlord must ensure they receive a written report from the person conducting the inspection, which includes the results and the required date for the next inspection then supply a copy of this report to each existing tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection.
If requested, the landlord must supply a copy within seven days to the local authority. They must also keep a copy of the report until the next inspection, and give a copy to the person undertaking the next inspection.
With regards to new tenancies, the landlord must provide a copy of the most recent report to a new tenant before the tenant occupies the property and give a copy of the most recent report to any prospective new tenant who requests the report in writing, within 28 days of receiving such a request.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark said, “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.
“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”