New legislation in Wales makes electrical safety checks legal requirement for landlords

The Welsh Government has confirmed that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act will come into force on the 15 of July 2022. The changes will affect all social and private tenants and landlords.

Part 4 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act sets out the obligations placed on landlords regarding the condition of the dwelling. A landlord under these obligations must ensure a dwelling is in good repair and fit for human habitation. Alongside this, new guidance has been published for landlords on what they must do to meet The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (“the FFHH Regulations”). It includes three new legal requirements. These are to ensure:

  • The presence of smoke alarms in proper working order
  • The presence of carbon monoxide detectors in proper working order and
  • To ensure the inspection and testing of electrical installations.

From 15 July 2022, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act requires all rented homes to have a periodic inspection and testing (PIT) of the electrical installation, carried out by a qualified person such as a registered electrician, every five years unless the requirements of the previous Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) indicate a shorter inspection and testing interval. Failure to comply will mean that the dwelling is considered unfit for human habitation and the landlord could face prosecution.

The current EICR must be made available to the contract holder (tenant) within seven days of the occupation date. Where a PIT is carried out after the occupation date the EICR must be provided to the contract-holder within seven days of the inspection date. Landlords will also have to provide contract-holders with written confirmation of all investigatory and remedial work carried out because of the PIT. This must be provided to the contract-holder within seven days of the occupation date or within seven days of the landlord receiving this confirmation if the property is already occupied.

Commenting on the publication of this new guidance and legislation, NAPIT Trade Association Chairman, Frank Bertie said:

“The new guidance and legislation are a welcome step forward in the provision of improving electrical safety standards in Wales. It is great to see mandatory electrical safety checks becoming a legal requirement for all tenures. This goes beyond the current requirements in England by including the social rented sector and establishes parity of safety for all tenants. The requirement to use a qualified electrician to undertake the periodic inspection and testing is key to enhancing safety and we support the Government’s recommendation to use a registered electrician. The enhanced ‘Find a Tradesperson’ search facility on the NAPIT website specifically allows landlords to search for registered electrical companies who have been assessed as competent to undertake electrical inspections and we encourage this facility to be used.”

Commenting on the Building Safety Bill (Report Stage) and amendments tabled by Andy Slaughter MP to introduce five-yearly electrical safety checks for social tenants and leaseholders in High Rise Residential Buildings (HRRB), Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First said:

 Those living in high rise buildings face unique risks and it is essential this Bill addresses them adequately. We have become all too familiar with how devastating electrical fires in tower blocks can be and it is a matter of urgency that all homes within a block are subject to the same protections, regardless of tenure type. We urge MPs to support mandatory electrical safety checks as part of this Bill so that people and their properties can be kept safe and secure from the devastation that electrical fires in high rise buildings can cause.”  

To read the full guidance for landlords visit here: https://gov.wales/fitness-homes-human-habitation-guidance-landlords-html

To find a NAPIT registered electrician: NAPIT – Member Search

To read the Bill in full, click here: Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (legislation.gov.uk)