New safety rules for landlords come into force

Wednesday, 3 March, 2021

Landlords will have to make sure that electrical installations in their homes for new and existing tenancies are safety tested by a qualified person.

From 1 April 2021 new regulations will require landlords to make sure that the electricity supply in their rented properties is safe - this includes arranging for a test report from a qualified person at least every five years. Tenants must also be provided with a copy of the report.

Failure to comply with the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 could result in a fine of up to £30,000. The regulations were previously in place for new tenancies only, but have now been extended to cover and protect those already in an existing tenancy.

Councillor Ingrid Thomas, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Quality, said: As a council we welcome these new regulations which are being put in place for the protection of our residents who are tenants in private properties.

We have a vital role to play in ensuring tenants can be sure of high-quality, safe and healthy private rented properties. Under these new regulations we can make sure landlords carry out remedial works or even in extreme cases, arrange for repairs to be done and recover the cost from the landlord."

For tenants, these regulations mean that:

  • The ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, plug sockets, light fittings and fuse box, including permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors in rented homes must be inspected and tested every 5 years, or more often than this if the inspector thinks that is necessary
  • The regulations do not cover electrical appliances such as kettles, toasters, hairdryers etc
  • Throughout the whole time a tenant is living at the property, national electrical safety standards must be met
  • Your landlord must give you a report that shows the condition of the property’s electrical installations
  • If you signed a new tenancy agreement on or after 1 July 2020 the regulations will apply to your rented home straight away
  • If you signed your tenancy agreement before 1 July 2020 the regulations will apply for you from 1 April 2021

These regulations do not cover social housing. Tenants of housing associations should contact their housing provider if they are worried about the electrics in the property. These regulations also do not cover tenants who live with their landlord (lodgers).

Find out more information on these new regulations or contact East Hampshire District Council ehealth@easthants.gov.uk or on 01730 266551.

There is also details on the new legislation via the government’s website.