Thousands of York rental homes to be rented out illegally from April 2021

I have seen over the last 10 years alone so many changes to legislation in the Private Rental Sector from deposit regulations, Energy Performance Certificate guidelines, Immigration Policy, Gas Safety Certification, Housing Health and Safety Rating Systems, changes to licencing.

The latest announcement surrounds the electrical safety of private rental properties.  For some (not all) of the legislation I’ve found myself questioning the validity of its purpose.  However, my response to the announcement of the impending mandatory electrical safety checks is, well it’s about time.

plug in

As a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, I’ve received the following announcement from the ARLA CEO, David Cox which I thought I’d share with you:

The Government has laid The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.


What does this mean?

Subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament, landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies.


Further details

The Regulations require landlords to ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.


  • The landlord is required to obtain a report which gives the results of the inspection and test, supply that report to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.
  • Upon request the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.
  • The private landlord must supply a copy of the last report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.
  • The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the rules and have the power to arrange remedial action.
  • Proven breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.


For the avoidance of doubt, electrical safety certificates last 5 years and from the bar chart below, given that 17% of property in York is privately rented, I expect Electricians in York to start getting very busy before long.

York Tenure Profile

Given that there were approximately 91,150 homes in York at time of the above chart being drafted, this makes up for nearly 15,500 homes.  I’m aware that some landlords, despite it not being a legal requirement, may have organised electrical safety checks on their properties.  We can also assume that some of these will be Houses of Multiple Occupancy (some of which being licenced) meaning they must comply with HMO regulations including testing of electrical wiring and Portable Appliance Tests.  Nevertheless, I would expect a majority of landlords who perhaps rent their properties privately and are not aware of this impending legislation and I hope that this article will provide some clarity as to what is to come.

If you are a landlord in York and have any concerns as to whether you are complying with the increasing standards on the PRS, please get in touch if you would like a free Tenancy Health Check.

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