Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector

What are the regulations?

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 st June 2020 with the aim of ensuring that all landlords in the private rented sector make sure that the electrical installations in their rented properties are safe.

The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. A new tenancy means a tenancy that was granted on or after 1st June 2020. An existing tenancy is any tenancy entered into before 1 st June 2020.

The regulations apply where a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent.

What does this mean for landlords?

The Regulations require landlords to have electrical installations in their rented properties inspected by a person who is qualified and competent at least every five years. Landlords must provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants and, if requested, to the local authority.

Landlord’s obligations

Landlords must:

  • ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, regulations which are published as British Standard
  • ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every five 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 
  • complete necessary remedial or further investigative work identified in the report within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary
  • 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

How to find a qualified and competent person

Guidance has been produced by the electrical safety industry that covers how landlords can choose a qualified and competent inspector and tester. This includes, but is not limited to:

Local authority enforcement

Local authorities may impose a financial penaltyof up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach
of their duties. This is appealable to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Further guidance

Guidance and FAQs are available on the GOV.UK website. You can also contact us for help and advice.