Thank you for contacting me about electrical safety regulations.
I understand that the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations have now come into force and I welcome these changes. Ministers are committed to improving protections for private renters and I support them in this endeavour.
The new Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested every five years. An electrical safety report must be provided to tenants and the local authority if requested following this inspection. The measures are a major step towards levelling up safety and standards in the private rented sector.
I understand that some landlords may be concerned about the timescale of these regulations, and the fact that they apply to existing tenancies from the 1 April 2021. However, I am confident that a ten-month notice period is sufficient given the importance of these Regulations for the safety of tenants.
I recognise that the pandemic may impact these inspections and has meant that people are spending more time in their homes than ever before. Guidance has been provided for tenants, landlords and local authorities to ensure that rented homes are as safe as possible during this time and that maintenance and inspections can be done safely.
If the report shows that remedial work is required, the landlord is not in breach of their duty to comply if they can show that they have taken all reasonable steps to carry it out. I expect local authorities to take a pragmatic approach to enforcement to ensure that all tenants and landlords are supported during coronavirus.