Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced that tough new electrical safety laws are on the way for landlords of the private rented sector.
All landlords must now ensure qualified inspectors check electrical installations in rented homes at least every five years.
The new measure follows a consultation on Electrical Safety Standards in private rented homes last year. These plans for new regulations were announced on 29 January 2019 following the results of the consultation.
Heather Wheeler states, “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.”
No time date has been outlined for the implementation of the mandatory checks, with the consultation response outlining that Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector ‘will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows’.
Properties that already have a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not need to replace it until five years have passed since it was issued.
Agents must ensure that any inspectors hired to issue an EICR hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.
The move is the latest government initiative to raise living standards for tenants in private rented homes, which include ensuring minimum health and safety rules with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 and the right to claim compensation through the Housing Complaints Resolution Service.