Private Rented Sector Electrical Safety Standards

On 1 June 2020 the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force.This introduces new legal requirements for rented homes for new tenancies from 1 June 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Electrical hazards

Dangerous electrical installations in the home can cause electric shocks, burns or fire.  This can happen through damage to sockets, switches and appliances, deterioration of the electrical installation, a lack of maintenance or misuse of the installation.  It is also important that only qualified persons carry work to an electrical installation in the home.

The electrical installation includes the fuse box, wiring and cables, socket outlets for a range of appliances such as fridges or mobile phones and switches and light fittings within the home.  An electrical safety installation and test will include these elements to ensure the installation is safe for the residents and visitors to the property.  Landlords should carry out visual inspections of the installations as part of their regular inspections of the property to ensure no damage has occurred and the installation is not being misused, including the overloading of sockets. 

Electrical Safety Standards

Landlords have a legal duty to have all electrical installations within a rented property tested by a competent person at least every 5 years.  Where further investigation or remedial work are required by the report this must be carried out within the time specified by the report and within 28 days from the date of the test.

The certificate or report must be provided to a tenant before occupancy and to any current tenant within 28 days of the test.

For houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s), there is an existing legal requirement to obtain an electrical installation test every five years. Current provisions in Regulation 6(3) of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 have been repealed, ensuring all properties are in scope of the new Regulations. These Regulations require a new mandatory condition on electrical safety to be placed on HMO licences. This condition will apply to all licences granted after 1 June 2020.  

Action we will take

If we believe that the landlord is in breach of the requirements, we have a duty to serve a remedial notice under the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. 

More information

For additional information see the Electrical Safety Standard legislation.

For further advice and guidance, visit the GOV.UK website.