Landlords reminded to make sure properties meet electrical safety standards

Fenland landlords are being reminded to check that their rented properties comply with changes to electrical safety standards - or face a fine of up to £30,000.

Housing

Following the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 in April 2021, Fenland District Council's private sector housing officers have been routinely monitoring the compliance of local landlords to ensure tenants are afforded minimum electrical safety standards within their home.

Prior to the rules coming into force, local authorities could only recommend landlords to undertake regular electrical installation inspections, unless council officers identified electrical defects during housing inspections.

The new regulations require landlords to ensure that all electrical wiring and installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years.

They must also provide a copy of the inspection report (known as the Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) to each tenant, and where serious defects are identified, a copy must also be issued to the local authority. Defects identified in the EICR must also be rectified, and proof of remedial works must be provided to tenants and the local authority.

Landlords failing to comply with the legislation could face enforcement action, with councils having the power to impose civil penalty notices of up to £30,000.

Since October 2021, Fenland District Council has served five civil penalty notices on landlords found to be in breach of the regulations, resulting in fines of £25,000. Income from fines will be used to continue to improve housing conditions within Fenland's private rented sector.

Cllr Samantha Hoy, the Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Landlords already have to keep the electrical installations in their rented properties safe and in working order, and most already do this.

"But the new rules mean landlords must get electrical installations checked at least every 5 years by a qualified person. The regulations come into force fully in April 2021 and while the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reduced electrical contractor availability to carry out electrical safety inspections, there is now an expectation that landlords must comply with regulations or face the financial penalties."

For more information, visit our Landlord Advice page or the Government website.

Article date: February 2022

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