Working Group Recommendations – Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector

Electric safety

Following the approval of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, a Private Rented Sector working group was established to setup legislative requirements for electrical safety in the private rented sector. Following deliberations, a consultation paper has since been released in February 2018 with eight recommendations.

Objective of the proposed legislative requirements are to strike a right balance by protecting tenants and not over-burdening landlords. and ensure electrical installation are safe for continued use.

Any installations, which were deemed unsafe for continued use, would require remedial work to be funded by the landlord.

The Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector consultation will be open for 8 weeks from 17th February 2018  while the deadline to respond to the consultation is 16 April 2018.

The Questionnaire is placed below for information and necessary action.

These recommendations are as under:

  1. A five yearly mandatory electrical 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 and set out in guidance.
  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. Landlord supplied electrical appliance testing and visual checks of electrical appliances by landlords at a change of tenancy should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.
  5. The installation of RCDs by landlords should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.
  6. A private rented sector electrical testing competent person’s scheme should be set up which would be separate from existing Building Regulations competent person’s scheme.
  7. MHCLG (Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government) 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.

It is estimated that the average cost to landlords of an electrical safety check will be around £100 per property every five years.

 

Changes in Law Regarding EPC

 

Existing Regulatory Environment

It may be noted that existing regulatory requirements to help protect tenants from electrical hazards in their home that already exist are as under :

  • The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords to keep installations in the property, including the supply of electricity, in good repair and proper working order.
  • Five yearly electrical installation checks are mandatory for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
  • Local authorities have powers, through the Housing Act 2004, to take action where there are electrical hazards in a property.
  • In normal circumstances, all circuits in new or rewired homes would need to be protected by a Residual Current Device (RCD) in order to comply with Building Regulations Part P, which references BS 7671: 2008 (Requirements for electrical installations IET wiring regulations) as the approved method of compliance.

 

Please feel free to respond to the questionnaire. We will keep you updated with any further news on how these recommendations transfer in to new legislation.

Full details can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/electrical-safety-in-the-private-rented-sector

 

RESPONSE CAN BE SUBMITTED

  1. You may respond by completing an online survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PRSElectricalConsultation

This is the preferred method for responding to this consultation.

  1. Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to PRSElectricalConsultation@communities.gsi.gov.uk
  2. If you are responding in writing, please make it clear to which questions you are responding. Written responses can also be sent to:

PRS Electrical Safety Consultation,

Private Rented Sector Division,

MHCLG, 3rd Floor, Fry Building, 2 Marsham Street,

London, SW1P 4DF

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

Respondent details

Question 1
Name
Position (if applicable)
Organisation (if applicable)
Address (including postcode)
Email address
Telephone number

 

Question 2 Select One
Please indicate whether you are applying to this consultation as:

·     Landlord

·     Landlord representative organisation

·     Tenant

·     Tenant representative organisation

·     Letting agent

·     Letting agent representative organisation

·     Electrician

·     Local Authority enforcement officer

·     Fire and Rescue Authority representative

·     Other interested party (please specify)

 

Question 3 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that landlords should be required by law to arrange safety checks of the electrical installation in private rented sector residential properties. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details

 

Question 4 Select One
The Working Group has recommended that mandatory electrical installation checks should take place at least every five years. Do you agree with the recommendation?

·     Yes, checks should be at least every five years

·     No, I think checks should be at a different frequency (please provide details)

·     Don’t know

·     I do not think that electrical installation checks should be mandatory

 

Question 5 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that that 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. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 6 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that a copy of the report outlined in question 5 should be issued to the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details

 

Question 7 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that a copy of the report outlined in question 5 should be made available to local authorities on request. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 8 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group recommended that legislative requirements should be phased in, beginning with new tenancies, followed by all existing tenancies. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details

 

Question 9 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that a private rented sector electrical testing competent person scheme should be set up which would be separate from existing Building Regulations competent person schemes. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 10 Yes/No/Don’t know
Do you agree that the best approach to recognising competent and qualified persons would be to introduce a scheme under ISO/IEC 17024, which would allow one or more UKAS accredited scheme operators to certify the competence of individual electrical inspectors and testers?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 11 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that visual checks of the safety of the electrical installation by landlords at a change in tenancy should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance? Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 12 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that landlord supplied electrical appliance testing and visual checks of electrical appliances by landlords at a change of tenancy should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details

 

Question 13 Yes/No/Don’t know
The Working Group has recommended that the installation of residual current devices (RCDs) by landlords should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance. Do you agree with the recommendation?

 

If no, please provide details.

 

Question 14 Yes/No/Don’t know
Should any regulations introduced be enforced by local housing authorities?

 

If no, please provide details?

 

Question 15 Select One or more
Do you think that the penalty for non-compliance of any regulations introduced should be:

·      Remedial notice (eg. where no check has taken place)

·      Improvement notice (eg. where faults are not rectified)

·      A civil penalty of up to £5,000

·      A civil penalty of up to £30,000

·      Other (please specify)

·      Don’t know

 

Question 16 Yes/No/Don’t know
If local housing authorities are the enforcement body for any regulations introduced, should they retain any monies recovered through financial penalties and use these for future enforcement in the private rented sector?

 

If no, please provide details

 

Question 17 Yes/No/Don’t know
Should landlords be restricted from evicting tenants using a Section 21 notice if they have not given the tenant a copy of electrical installation safety documentation?

 

Please provide details

 

Question 18 Yes/No/Don’t know
Do you consider that any of the Working Group recommendations would impact on people who share a protected characteristic, as defined under the Equalities Act 2010, differently from people who do not share it?

 

If yes, please provide details.

 

Question 19 Yes/No/Don’t know
Do you have any other comments that have not been captured elsewhere in this consultation?

 

If yes, please provide details

 

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