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Housing and Planning Act 2016 & Electrical Safety

Housing and Planning Bill has now received Royal assent and is now officially the Housing and Planning Act 2016. All kinds of secondary legislation will need to be passed before it is in force, which is likely to be April 2017.

One of the key clauses in the act is in regard to:

Electrical Safety Standards

The Secretary of State will have the power to pass regulations placing a positive obligation on Landlords to ensure that electrical safety standards are met during any tenancy term. These ‘electrical safety standards’ relate to the installation of the electrical supply and the electrical fixtures and fittings or appliances that the Landlord may have supplied.

In order to satisfy this obligation a Landlord will be required to instruct an expert (we assume an electrician) to ensure that the ‘electrical safety standards’ are met. These tests may be required annually and may obligate the Landlord to provide a copy of the expert’s certificate to the Tenant. However, until the Secretary of State has passed the regulation, we will not know the extent of the obligations.

Landlords who fail to comply with the ‘electrical safety standards’ could face a financial penalty and with the Tenant’s consent, the local authority may enter the rented property and remedy any electrical safety failure.

In essence, the provisions appear to be making fixed wiring and PAT tests a legal requirement for Landlords.

We need to be advising clients that this legislation is coming and that we believe it is in their interests to get this work done before the legal requirement as the cost of testing is only likely to go up once there is a legal requirement.