Tougher rules announced for electrical inspections for rented homes in the UK

Rules on electrical safety in the UK’s private rented sector are being tightened to ensure mandatory electrical checks are carried out by competent and qualified inspectors.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said that the tougher rules will mean greater protection for tenants and help drive up standards in the lettings sector.

Landlords will be legally required to ensure that the inspectors they hire to carry out safety inspections have the necessary competence and qualifications to do so with tough financial penalties for those who fail to comply.

Ministers will also publish new guidance which sets out the minimum level of competence and qualifications necessary for those carrying out these important inspections, meaning both landlords and tenants can be assured their home is safe from electrical faults.

‘Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own home. While measures are already in place to crack down on the small minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties, we need to do more to protect tenants,’ said Wheeler.

‘These new measures will reduce the risk of faulty electrical equipment, giving people peace of mind and helping to keep them safe in their homes. It will also provide clear guidance to landlords on who they should be hiring to carry out these important electrical safety checks,’ she explained.

The aim is for the new guidance top provide clear accountability at each stage of the inspection process in term of what is required and whose responsibility it is, but without placing excessive cost and time burdens on landlords.

She pointed out that as well as making homes safer for tenants, improving electrical safety also benefits landlords by making a material improvement to their property and helping to prevent fires, which can cause costly and significant damage.

‘The measures announced today build on ongoing government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector and support people to feel safe and secure in their home, ensuring millions of hard-working tenants can live in the homes they deserve,’ she added.

Ministers have also introduced tough new powers for councils to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out poor quality properties, including fines of up to £30,000 and banning orders for landlords who do not comply.

The Tenant Fees Bill, which will be implemented from 01 June, will bring an end to unnecessary, costly fees imposed by landlords or property agents, stopping tenants being charged hundreds of pounds for minor fixes to their homes and putting cash back in their pockets.

Wheeler also pointed out that together, these measures will help to create a housing market that works for everyone by making renting fair and more transparent for all.

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