On February 17th 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) issued a consultation document inviting views from individual landlords, landlord associations, tenants and tenant groups, letting agents, electricians, local authorities, fire and rescue authorities and electrical safety groups.
This follows recommendations made by a Private Rented Sector (PRS) Electrical Safety Standards Working Group formed to discuss the current risk posed to private sector tenants in the home from electrical hazards and whether legislative intervention is required in order to improve electrical safety standards in this sector.
They have made a total of 8 recommendations which are as follows:-
1. 5 yearly mandatory installation checks should be set out in secondary legislation.
2. Visual checks of the safety of the electrical installation by landlords at a change of tenancy should be encouraged as good practice.
3. A report should be issued to the landlord which confirms that an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) has been completed along with confirmation that any remedial work necessary has been undertaken satisfactorily. A copy should be issued to the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy and should be made available to local authorities on request.
4. Testing and visual checks of landlord supplied electrical appliances should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.
5. The installation of RCD’s by landlords should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.
6. A PRS electrical testing competent person’s scheme should be set up which would be separate from existing Building Regulations competent person’s scheme.
7. MHCLG should commission the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) management committee to consider the most effective method of recognising ‘competent PRS testers’ to carry out electrical inspections and tests.
8. Legislative requirements should be phased in, beginning with new tenancies, followed by all existing tenancies.
The Government is also consulting how best to enforce the strengthened safety regime along with whether there should be fines to landlords for non-compliance.
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said:
Everyone deserves a safe place to live. While measures are already in place to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties we need to do more to protect tenants.
That’s why we introduced powers to enable stronger electrical safety standards to be brought in along with tough penalties for those who don’t comply.
We want to ensure we strike the right balance between protecting tenants while being fair for landlords. So I want to hear from as many people as possible whether these independent recommendations are the right approach.
At SAMS we make it a condition of taking on a new fully managed property that the landlord has an Electrical Installation Test & Report carried out together with a Portable Appliance Test & Report (PAT) where applicable and make sure any important defects are rectified and the reports are satisfactory.
We welcome these new measures as without this you just don’t know if it’s safe for the tenant and there’s no place for uncertainty.
To enter the survey visit:-
The consultation runs until Monday 16th April 2018.