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Electrical safety standards for privately rented homes

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 01 June 2020. The Regulations place mandatory duties on private landlords to maintain electrical safety standards in privately rented homes.

The Regulations apply to all existing residential tenancies, apart from some limited types which are listed below. In a phased approach, the new rules were first applied to new tenancies from 01 June 2020, and then were widened to include all existing tenancies from 01 April 2021. In general terms, the Regulations now apply to the vast majority of residential tenancies in the private rented sector.

Under the Regulations, a private landlord must:

  • Ensure that the electrical safety standards are met when their property is occupied. The electrical safety standards are the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, which are published as British Standard 7671;
  • Ensure that the electrical installation in their property is inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at intervals of not more than five years (or less if the most recent report recommends a shorter period before the next inspection);
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test;
  • Supply a copy of the report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test;
  • Supply a copy of the report to any new tenant before they occupy the premises;
  • Supply a copy of the report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a written request for the report;
  • Supply the council with a copy of the report within seven days of receiving a written request for a copy;
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test;
  • Where the report shows that further investigative and/or remedial work is necessary, complete the work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified in the report;
  • Where further investigative and/or remedial work is necessary, supply the tenant and the council with written confirmation from a qualified and competent person that confirms the completion of the further investigative and/or remedial works within 28 days of the completion of those works.
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Your landlord must provide you with a copy of an electrical safety certificate. These are known as Electrical Installation Condition Reports, or EICRs. If you have not received one from your landlord, you should ask for a copy. Your certificate should say that the electrical installation is in a “Satisfactory” condition.

If your landlord does not provide you with a certificate, you can ask the council for help. If you have other genuine safety concerns about your property, you can ask for help here – Report a Landlord –  and we will arrange for an inspection to take place where necessary.

If your only concern is the lack of an EICR, we do not usually need to visit you. Please email us at housing.conditions@thanet.gov.uk providing your name and address, your contact phone number, and the details of your landlord and their agent (if applicable). We will then get in touch with your landlord and demand that they comply with the Regulations.

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The exempted tenancies, which are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations, relate to:

  • Social housing, where the landlord is a private registered provider;
  • Accommodation shared with a landlord or a landlord’s family, where at least one amenity is shared (an amenity in this context means a toilet, bathroom, kitchen or living room);
  • Long leases, or tenancies that grant a right of occupation for a term of seven years or more (see Paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 of the Regulations for the definition of long lease);
  • Student halls of residence;
  • Certain hostels and refuges, which are managed by private registered providers of social housing, or operated on a non-commercial basis and funded by central or local government or a government agency, or managed by a voluntary organisation or charity;
  • Care homes, as defined by section 3 of the Care Standards Act 2000;
  • Hospitals and hospices; and
  • Other accommodation relating to healthcare provision (relating to accommodation provided owing to a statutory duty placed on the NHS).
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If the council is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that a private landlord has breached a duty under the Regulations, it has the power to impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

The council has adopted an enforcement policy which will be used to determine the level of financial penalty in each case. The policy, which came into force on 01 December 2020.

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