New Electrical Safety Requirements

New Electrical Safety Requirements

A new consultation on proposals to mandate electrical safety checks for the private rented sector in England has just been opened by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).The aim of the consultation is to find out more opinions on the recommendations made by the PRS Electrical Safety Working Group.

The recommendations that will be looked into include: the 5 yearly mandatory electrical installation checks that should be set out in regulations, visual checks and of the safety of the electrical installation and supplied electrical appliance testing by landlords at a change of tenancy, a report issued by the landlord confirming that an EICR has been completed, the installation of Residual Current Devices (RCDs) by landlords, legislative requirements, and a private rented sector electrical testing competent person’s scheme.

Additionally, the consultation seeks views on how these new requirements should be enforced, the level of financial or other penalties that should be imposed, and whether any money recovered should be retained by the enforcement authority.

“We recognise the need for electrical safety checks in the private rented sector to give confidence to tenants in the safety of their homes and as members of the Electrical Safety Working Group we fully support its recommendations,” said Chris Norris, Head of Policy at the National Landlords Association (NLA).

“The NLA already encourages our members to undertaken 5 yearly checks as well as visual inspections between tenancies to ensure the quality of their property and for any potentially dangerous or costly problems to be nipped in the bud,” he added.

The Government has also recently backed Karen Buck MP’s ‘Fitness for Human Habitation Bill’, which gives tenants the right to take legal action when landlords fail in their duties to provide suitable accommodation, including electrical safety.

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