It has been compulsory for all landlords of residential premises to ensure that their electrical installations are inspected and tested before the commencement of any new tenancies beginning on or after 1 July 2020 and thereafter regularly to inspect and test those installations (at least every 5 years) since 1 July 2020. This obligation will be extended from 1 April 2021 to apply to all existing tenancies.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) require landlords to ensure that minimum electrical safety standards are met during any period for which residential premises are occupied under a tenancy and require landlords to ensure that the first inspection for all existing tenancies is carried out by 1 April 2021.

Once the first inspection has been carried out, landlords are required to supply a copy of the qualified person’s report (including the results of the inspection and the date of the next one) to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection. The Regulations also require landlords to provide a copy of the most recent report to new and prospective tenants who request to see it.

If the report indicates that the property is not electrically safe, the recommended remedial works must be carried out within 28 days (or such shorter period as may be specified in the report) by a qualified person. Landlords must then obtain the qualified person’s written confirmation that the works have been carried out and the electrical safety standards met.

If the local authority believes a landlord to be in breach of the Regulations, they must serve a remedial notice to the landlord setting out the actions required. If the local authority determines beyond reasonable doubt that a landlord has breached their obligations under the Regulations, it may issue a notice of intent to issue a financial penalty (up to £30,000).

The Regulations apply to tenancies for a term of less than seven years, where the tenant occupies the premises as their only or main residence, for the payment of rent. This includes statutory periodic tenancies (that arise after the fixed term of an assured shorthold tenancy) and licences to occupy (which would extend to service occupancies where a wage deduction is made).

If you are a charity landlord of residential premises and would like further advice regarding the Regulations, or any other matter of statutory compliance relating to residential lettings (including the Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations) then you should contact Robert White, Solicitor in the Commercial Property team.