Although there is a legal requirement to have an annual gas safety inspection, private landlords have not had the same demand with electricity. However, provisions were made in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 for the Secretary of State to make regulations about electrical safety standards for properties let by private landlords.
As of 25 October 2019, the Secretary of the State has the power to make the regulations which will provide the electrical safety standards to be met by all residential landlords.
The standards specified or determined in accordance with the regulations are:
- Installations in the premises for the supply of electric
- Electrical fixtures, fittings or appliances
The regulations will almost certainly make provisions on how and when checks are carried out and who is qualified to carry out the checks.
The duties imposed on the landlord will be:
- A qualified person checks that the electrical safety standards are met.
- A certificate is obtained from the qualified person and to ensure a copy is given to a prospective tenant, a tenant or any other person specified in the regulations such as guardian.
The proposed enforcement includes:
- A landlord who fails to comply with a duty imposed by the regulations to pay a financial penalty (or more than one penalty in the event of a continuing failure)
- Conferring power on a local housing authority to arrange for a person to enter the premises, with the consent of the tenant, to remedy any failure by the landlord to comply with the duty imposed by the regulations. In other words, if the landlord ignores these requirements the LA will have the power to gain access with the tenant’s cooperation and do what is needed and bill the Landlord.