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Everything you need to know about the electrical safety standards update

24 July 2020

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With the new electrical safety standards coming into force from 1st July, we take a look at what it means for you as a landlord, and how to stay compliant.
The government’s new regulations were introduced to improve safety in all residential properties, and the biggest change is that landlords are now required to have all the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested every five years.


What are the new guidelines and do they affect me?

The new electrical safety standards are applicable to just new tenancies at the moment, however this also applies in situations where existing tenancies periodically resign. It will expand to cover all existing tenancies as of April 1st 2021, so it’s worth getting on top of this sooner rather than later.
Essentially you’ll need to make sure you’re meeting national standards for electrical safety, which you can find here: https://electrical.theiet.org/bs-7671/.
Alongside getting your electrical installations checked every five years, you are required to provide a report of this inspection and supply a copy of it to your tenant within 28 days, as well as local authorities should they request this.
If the report shows that remedial work is needed to be compliant with the guidelines, this needs to be completed within 28 days, followed by written confirmation of the work done.

Who can carry out the inspections?

The new guidelines state you should have a “qualified and competent” person to carry out the test. But where to find such a person?
Your inspector should be a member of a competent person scheme, and you should also check their experience, and whether they have adequate insurance and qualifications.
We can help you find a suitable specialist to carry out testing of your electrical installations

What sort of remedial work might I need to carry out?

The inspection will cover things like your wiring, plug sockets, light fittings and fuse boxes. Electrical installations include permanent equipment like extractor fans and showers, but not electrical appliances like fridge freezers or ovens.
Some of the more common issues the inspection might uncover include overloaded electrical installations, fire hazards, shock risks, or a lack of earthing or bonding.

What will happen if I don’t comply with the new electrical safety standards?

Failure to have your installations inspected every five years, or to have the remedial work done, could see your local authority arrange for this to be done on your behalf, with the costs charged to you. You could also face a penalty of up to £30,000, so it’s really not worth the risk.

At Balgores, we understand that as a landlord it can be difficult to keep up with ever changing health and safety legislation. We can help you stay compliant with the new regulations and guide you through the process. Get in touch to see how we could help.

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