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Electrical Safety in Private Rented Properties

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 were introduced by the government. They ensure electrical installations in privately rented properties are safe. The regulations require landlords to arrange for regular inspections. They must also deal with any defects identified quickly, so there is no potential danger to the tenants.

Which properties do the regulations apply to?

The regulations applied to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020, and to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.

A specified tenancy is one that:

  • grants one or more persons the right to occupy all or part of the premises as their only residence
  • provides for payment of rent (whether at market value or not)
  • is not an excluded tenancy

Excluded tenancies are:

  • long leases of seven years or more
  • where the tenant shares the property, or part, with the landlord (or a member of the landlord's family)
  • where the landlord is a registered social landlord
  • student halls of residence
  • hostels, refuges and care homes
  • hospitals, hospices and other care related accommodation

Landlord responsibilities

Landlords must ensure electrical safety standards are met before starting to let a property, and during any tenancy.

In order to do this, an inspection of the electrical installation must be carried out by a person who is qualified and registered with a competent person scheme every five years - or more frequently, if the most recent report requires it.

A copy of the report, known as the Electrical Safety Condition Report (EICR), must be provided to the tenant, and to the local authority if requested.

Action required by landlord

If the report identifies any code 1 (C1) defects indicating danger with a risk of injury, action must be taken to remove the risk by the competent person before leaving the property.

If there are code 2 (C2) defects indicating potential danger, the landlord must arrange for these defects to be dealt with by a competent person with 28 days - or sooner, if stated in the report.

If any part of the installation is noted as requiring further investigation (F1), the landlord must arrange for this to be carried out by a competent person within 28 days. If this results in further code 1 or 2 defects being identified, these must be dealt with in the time scales above.

Code 3 (C3) defects are advisory and a recommendation for improvement to the installation.

Landlords have a duty to comply with the regulations. Failure to do so can result in service of a remedial notice, requiring works to be carried out to make the installation safe. If the notice is not complied with, the Council can apply a penalty of up to £30,000 and/or arrange for the works to be carried out and recover costs.

Download statement of principles and penalties under electrical safety standards

For more information, please read the government’s guidance about electrical safety standards for landlords.

You can also email our Private Sector Housing team