Do you have a sparky on speed dial for the new electrical safety regulations?

From 1 July 2020, landlords letting residential premises in England will need to adhere to new regulations in respect of electrical safety standards.

The new rules, entitled ‘The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ are being introduced to improve safety for tenants and are welcomed by the Chief executive of Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) who believes ‘it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants. Mandating inspecting and testing of every fixed electrical installation should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.’

Diveysh Popat, in the property law team at Ingram Winter Green Solicitors in London, outlines the key points for residential landlords:

Which landlords will be affected?

The duties come into force for private residential landlords in England (Wales is covered under a separate set of rules).  The new rules do not apply to landlords of social housing.

Which tenancies will be affected?

  • from 1 July 2020, this duty applies to all new private tenancies; and
  • from 1 April 2021, this will apply to existing tenancies.

What action is required from landlords?

Private landlords will need to:

  • ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy;
  • ensure that the first inspection of every fixed electrical installation is carried out before any new tenancy starts after 1 July 2020 or by 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies;
  • obtain a report which gives the results of the inspection and test;
  • ensure that fixed electrical installations are inspected and tested at the regular intervals specified in the report or at least every five years by a qualified person;
  • supply a copy of that report to each tenant within 28 days, and
  • supply a copy to the local housing authority within 7 days of a request.

Landlords must also supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.

Where the report requires the private landlord to carry out further investigative or remedial work, the private landlord must:

  • undertake such further investigative or remedial work within 28 days or within such lesser time period as specified in the report; and
  • obtain and supply written confirmation of completion of that work to the tenant and local housing authority.

What is the role of the local housing authority?

If the local housing authority has reasonable grounds to believe that the private landlord is in breach of its duties, it can serve a remedial notice requiring action.

If the landlord fails to take action within 28 days to remedy the breach, the authority also has the power to arrange remedial action and recover costs.  The landlord has the right to appeal against this decision and any costs.

The local authority will also be able to impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 on a private landlord who has breached a duty, and multiple penalties may be imposed on consistent failures.

For advice on any of your duties as a residential landlord, contact Divyesh Popat, in the property law team at Ingram Winter Green Solicitors on 0207 845 7400 or email


This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.