It looks almost certain that agents and landlords must ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from July 1 this year, or from April 1 2021 for existing tenancies.
The government says The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 have been laid before Parliament.
These are likely to be agreed by the Commons and the Lords in the coming weeks.
An analysis by ARLA says this means agents and landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.
The regulations also state that a landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test, supply it to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.
ARLA says that upon request, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within seven days, and a 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 that prospective tenant.
Breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.
The Association of Residential Lettings Agents backs the move with chief executive David Cox saying: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.
“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
“We did raise concerns about the number of engineers available to undertake these reports by the April 2021 deadline but have received assurances from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government about capacity in the supply chain.”