Compulsory electrical safety inspections set to be required in all private rental homes

Electrical safety checks will have to be carried out in all private rental properties in England, according to Regulations now laid in Parliament.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 look set to become law from April 1 this year, initially applying to all new tenancies. Inspections are likely to be required of electrical installations from July 1.

By April 1, 2021, there would have to be electrical safety checks in all rental properties with existing tenancies.

Safety checks would then have to be done at five yearly intervals.

Copies of the report will have to be provided to prospective tenants on request, and given to new tenants before they move in.

The check-in report would also have to give the results of the inspection. Local councils can also request a copy of the report, which must be provided within seven days.

Any remedial work must be done within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.

Enforcement is by the local authority, which can order that work be done. Failure could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000.

With a large number of mandatory electrical inspections on the horizon, concerns are being raised at how busy – and available – electricians will be.

David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark, said: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.

“Mandating  electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.

“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from MHCLG about capacity in the supply chain.”

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  1. smile please

    At last, a change in law and policy that makes perfect sense.

  2. bren_gun

    Makes perfect sense BUT the harsh reality is that there won’t be sufficient qualified people or time to deliver this in the timeframe suggested. Our portfolio alone would require several per day, every working day of the year for our local electrician who already has more work than they can fulfil. This will inevitably go the way of other lettings regs and require a longer grace period to physically implement.

    1. catdog

      The danger is more that fly by night operations will be setup offering cheap EICR’s with 90% limitations meaning the certificate is not worth the money its written on.   I think the electrical industry is going to have to change to restrict who is classed as qualified, not just part-p electricians.  I think you are right with the lack of people, I saw this coming and started to qualify as an electrician over a year ago so will be able to do my own properties and cash in on the gold rush early 2021 when everyone will want an EICR and remedial work.

  3. Will2

    I have been providing these for years on my own portfolio but the rushing in of the rule in less than 3 months is unreasonable.  If you have a problem and write to your MP who refers it onto a minister it can take 3 months to get a reply! Lead in time should have been longer to allow time for it to filter through to  everyone including landlords or perhaps it is an intentional trick to raise more money!!!!

  4. PeeBee


    Regulations being as they are, electrical safety requirements are updated fairly regularly with amendments to the current edition of BS7671.  Properties newly wired only a couple of years or so ago no longer comply fully with today’s regs.

    Does this not simply mean that five yearly inspections will result in five yearly enforced ‘upgrades’ – even for wiring that was done to the (perfectly acceptable) specs of the day?

    1. catdog

      Yes BS7671 does regularly change however if you do not meet those current standards but the installation is deemed to be safe then it will be classed as a C3 code which is still a pass with improvements recommended but not required.  So no you will not be forced to do five yearly upgrades.

  5. Woodentop

    We had made it mandatory many years ago with our landlords so we have history if it can be done in the time frame left for agents.  
    New instructions ? Why not as that number is low, however there are not enough qualified electrical engineers, who are already over worked on other things. Its the 28 days to complete necessary works that is going to be the big issue depending on work and landlord covering costs for a 10 minute bulb holder to days full re-wire. 95% of new listings have incorrect light fittings in kitchens and bathrooms and high percentage of failed fuse boxes in old properties.  
    Existing stock tenancies has over 14 months. Electricians will be gloating.

  6. Baggiefan

    Been doing electric certs on all properties for the last twenty years, and not prepared to put a tenants life at risk because the landlord cannot be bothered.


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