Private Rented Housing: Electrical Safety

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 28th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Tope Lord Tope Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to improve electrical safety in the private rented sector.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Local authorities have strong powers to crack down on rogue landlords, drive up standards and help ensure properties are free of potentially dangerous hazards to tenants’ health and safety.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords to keep electrical installations in repair and proper working order. Mandatory five yearly electrical installation checks are required for Houses in Multiple Occupation.

An enabling power was included in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 allowing requirements for electrical safety standards in the private rented sector, and their enforcement, to be set through secondary legislation at a later date. Following Royal Assent of the Act, a Working Group of relevant experts was established to provide recommendations to ministers on what, if any, legislative requirements should be introduced. The Working Group report has been published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-working-group-report

The working group has recommended introducing five yearly mandatory electrical installation checks for private rented property and that other safety measures be encouraged as good practice and set out in guidance.

The Government will consult in the new year to test the recommendations of the working group to ensure that any regulation introduced is balanced and works for landlords and tenants. We also want to take account of the conclusions of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt before making policy decisions.

Working Group report (PDF Document, 322.38 KB)

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