A Government working group of industry experts set up to assess the current electrical safety risk to private sector tenants in the UK, has published recommendations on the regulation and standards on electrical safety.
The recommendations have been made to the Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, who will ultimately make the decision on whether they are carried forward. There has been no indication yet as to a timeline, according to statement from ARLA Propertymark.
The PRS has undergone rapid growth in the last 10 years, with 4.5 million households now privately rented. The recommendations are as follows:
1. 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 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 Residual Current Devices (RCDs) by landlords should be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.
6. A PRS electrical testing competent person scheme should be set up which would be separate from the existing Building Regulations competent person scheme.
7. DCLG should commission the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification (EAS) management committee to consider the most effective method of assessing ‘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.
ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David: “ARLA Propertymark supports measures to increase the standards of electrical safety in order to benefit tenants without introducing excessive regulation and costs for landlords and letting agents. We were a key member of the Working Group and helped shape the recommendations."