Tough new electrical safety laws are on the way for landlords, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced.
Landlords must ensure qualified inspectors check electrical installations in rented homes at least every five years.
“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.”
The new measure follows a consultation on electrical safety in private rented homes last year.
“We intend to introduce new legislation on a phased basis, starting with new tenancies, as soon as Parliamentary time allows,” said a government spokesman.
“The new guidance will be broadly in line with existing regulations in Scotland, helping to ensure consistency and ease for landlords operating across the two nations.
“A decision on penalties for non-compliance will be made before the secondary legislation is introduced. Penalties are likely to include a range of sanctions, with local authorities being given discretion to decide which is most appropriate in each case.”
The move is the latest government initiative to raise living standards for tenants in private rented homes, which include ensuring minimum health and safety rules with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 and the right to claim compensation through the Housing Complaints Resolution Service. In addition, the tenant fees ban comes into force from 1st June, which will fundamentally change the way in which many letting agents run their businesses. Find out more about the ban.