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Mandatory electrical checks for private landlords from July 2020

23rd January 2020

It should perhaps come as no surprise, given the raft of legislation aimed at ensuring that basic housing standards are met and that a tenant’s safety is seen by their landlord as paramount, the Government has recently announced draft Regulations to introduce mandatory electrical checks from July 2020.

What tenancies do the new Regulations relate to?

If passed, the new Regulations entitled The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) will come into force from 01 June 2020, and will apply to any new tenancy from 01 July 2020 including renewals and statutory periodic tenancies (where the initial fixed term has expired) that come into effect after that date. The Regulations will then apply to all tenancies from 01 April 2021.

The Regulations will apply to most private rented tenancies including assured shorthold tenancies, subject only to a few limited exceptions. They will not apply to properties let on long leases.

What obligations do the new Regulations impose?

The Regulations will impose new obligations on private landlords to carry out checks on their fixed electrical installations. At present, these obligations only apply to licensable HMO properties. The Regulations will require all private landlords to ensure that their electrical installations comply with the 2018 edition of the Wiring Regulations, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the British Standards Institution.

When do the checks have to be carried out?

The Regulations require landlords to ensure that a qualified person tests their electrical installations for compliance with the Wiring Regulations, every five years. This must be done before the commencement of the tenancy (for all new tenancies from 01 July 2020), and for all existing tenancies from 01 April 2021.

There will also be an ongoing obligation on landlords to ensure that the electrical safety standards set out in the Wiring Regulations are met  during “any period” when the premises are occupied under a tenancy to which the draft Regulations apply.

What do landlords have to do following the electrical checks?

The Regulations will require landlords to provide their tenants with a copy of the electrical inspection report, giving the results of the inspection and the date of the next inspection, within 28 days. Copies of the report must also be given to new tenants before they occupy the property, and to prospective tenants within 28 days of a written request. The landlord will also be obliged to provide a copy of the report to the Local Housing Authority within 7 days of a written request.

Any remedial works identified in the report must be undertaken within 28 days of the date of the inspection, or any shorter period specified in the report. The landlord must then obtain written confirmation that the remedial works have been undertaken and supply that confirmation to the tenant as well as to the Local Housing Authority, within 28 days from the date of the remedial work/further investigations. Where remedial works cannot be done and further investigations are required, the landlord is to repeat that process.

What other powers will Local Authorities have?

The draft Regulations will impose duties on Local Housing Authorities to serve enforcement notices where they have reasonable grounds to believe that a private landlord is in breach of these obligations. Urgent notices can be served where the situation is serious and will require remedial works to be commenced immediately. Otherwise, the Local Housing Authority must serve a notice within 21 days of becoming aware of the breach. The landlord will then have 21 days to make written representations in response or they must do the works within 28 days of the notice being served. Any written representations by the landlord must be considered by the Local Housing Authority and a response provided within 7 days. If the notice is upheld, the landlord must complete the remedial works within 21 days of the Local Housing Authority’s response.

A private landlord will not be taken to have breached the notice if they can show that they have taken all reasonable steps to comply. Where access issues have impeded the landlord in complying with the notice, that of itself will not be taken as a failure by the landlord to have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the notice.

Where a landlord fails to comply with a notice or urgent works are required, the Local Housing Authority has the power to undertake the works and recover their costs (although the landlord can appeal against the costs in the First-Tier Tribunal).

What are the sanctions for non-compliance?

In addition to the above, the draft Regulations will impose a civil penalty of up to £30,000 for non-compliance.

Unlike with the obligations imposed upon landlords when it comes to gas safety, the proposed draft Regulations will not restrict a landlord from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession where the Regulations have not been complied with. This is perhaps in keeping with the Government’s stated aim of abolishing Section 21.

The draft Regulations can be accessed by the following link -

For any further information please contact Faye Didcote on 01435 897297 or


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