Compulsory electrical inspections for all rented properties to come into law in April 2020

Landlords and lettings agents will soon have to ensure that all fixed electrical installations in their rental properties are inspected and tested by a qualified person, with the new law expected to come in to force on 1st April this year. The rules will apply to every kind of privately rented property and failure to comply could result in fines of up to £30,000.

For new tenancies, these checks are to be carried out at the start of the tenancy and every five years thereafter. On existing tenancies, the properties will have to be checked before 1st April 2021 and then every five years following the inspection and test date.

As with gas appliances, a copy of the electrical safety report should be supplied to the tenants of the property within 28 days of the report being produced. Similarly, a copy of the last report must be supplied to any new tenant before occupation, or to any prospective tenant within 28 days, should they request to see a copy. If a copy of the report is requested by the Local Housing Authority, this should be supplied within 7 days following the date of the request.

Any problems highlighted by the inspection will need to be fixed within 28 days by the letting agents and landlords, or earlier if specified in the report.

These regulations aim to improve safety standards for tenants and should also create a level playing field for all agents and landlords. For professional landlords already choosing to carry out electrical inspections voluntarily, the laws around mandatory electrical testing should have limited impact.

Read the legislation in full.

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