Landlords will be required by law to make sure that inspectors they hire to carry out electrical safety inspections have the necessary competence and qualifications to do so, under plans announced by the Government this week.
Publishing the results of a consultation on Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector this week, the Government also said that it will press ahead with plans first announced last year to introduce regulations requiring landlords to undertake five yearly safety checks of electrical installations in their properties.
While no date has been announced for this, the Government has announced that it intends to introduce this new legislation on a phased basis, starting with new tenancies, as soon as Parliamentary time allows. It has also said the industry will be given at least 6 months to become familiar with the new duty before it comes into force. A transitional period will also apply in the first two years, where the new duty will only apply to all new private tenancies in year 1 and then extended to all existing private tenancies in year 2. We will update members when we know more information.
New guidance for landlords
New guidance is also due to be published by the Government, which will set out the minimum level of competence and qualifications necessary for those carrying out such inspections, to have.
This guidance will also provide clear accountability at each stage of the inspection process – of what is required and whose responsibility it is – but without placing excessive cost and time burdens on landlords.
Announcing the plans this week, Heather Wheeler MP said:
“Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants.
“These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes.
“It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks.”