Government consider increased electrical safety measures in rented homes

Wed 06 Jun 2018

The Government are considering recommendations for increased electrical safety standards in rented properties. As well as making homes safer for tenants, improvements in safety measures reduce the risk to landlords too.

The Housing and Planning Act 2016, includes a provision to allow legislation to be brought in requiring landlords to have the mains electrical installation inspected every five years. Consequently, a working group of relevant experts was established to provide recommendations on what, if any, legislative requirements for electrical safety in the private rented sector should be introduced.

The Electrical Safety Standards Working Group have made a total of eight recommendations, one being the introduction of five yearly mandatory electrical installation checks for private rented property. Another being a report confirming that an Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR) has been completed along with confirmation that any remedial work necessary has been undertaken satisfactorily. The landlord would have to provide a copy of this report to the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy (just like a gas safety certificate).

A consultation was released between February 2018 and April 2018, seeking views and opinions. The results of which will be published by the Government in due course and it will certainly be interesting to see how this develops.

The private rented sector now accounts for 4.7 million households (20% of all households), this has doubled in size over the past decade. Continuous evaluation of safety standards within the private rented sector helps to ensure properties are safe for the tenants whilst looking after the asset value for the landlord.

Whilst there is no law to have the electrical installation of a property inspected every five years, we strongly advise our landlords to have this done for peace of mind. We expect this to become law in the next few years and welcome this as both landlords and tenants will know that the property has a safe electrical installation!

Legal disclaimer: This article is produced on a limited basis. Whilst the information researched and provided is believed to be correct, neither the author nor anyone involved in the production of it, accepts responsibility for its accuracy.