The Private Tenancies Act, which received Royal Assent in April last year, will require periodical electrical safety checks in privately rented properties in Northern Ireland. The regulations to introduce the periodical electrical checks, including the detail in terms of frequency and scope, such as whether they will cover both installations and portable appliance testing (PAT), are currently being decided by the Department for Communities and will be set out in statutory guidance published later this year.
Landlords will have to ensure that a qualified person, such as an electrician, has checked that the electrical safety standards are met for the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply and use of electricity, or electrical fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord. The electrician must issue a certificate to the tenant, confirming electrical safety standards were met.
This successful step towards improvement was one of Electric Safety First’s main achievements for the region in 2022. In the last year, the campaigning UK charity has seen significant progress in developing legislation that will help ensure everyone is electrically safe in their own home.
According to their latest annual report, mandatory electrical checks will be introduced for private tenants not only in Northern Ireland but also in Wales. In response to a long-standing campaign led by the charity, the UK Government announced similar draft regulations for the social housing sector in both Wales and England.
“The charity has achieved much this year, particularly with our campaign to address the ‘tenure lottery’, whereby renters in different parts of the UK have varying levels of protection from electrical risk,” commented Electric Safety First CEO Lesley Rudd. “Our work has helped establish new and expanded legislation, ensuring additional protection for millions.”
Electrical safety experts
Electric Safety First is recognised by the government and industry as the leading consumer protection and technical authority on electrical safety. It is dedicated to preventing deaths, injuries and fires caused by electricity.
In addition to established campaigns, the charity also provides support and advice on topical issues, such as the implications of the cost-of-living crisis, and the growing use of electricity for transport and heating as the UK tries to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
To learn more about the electrician’s role in delivering the new electrical safety regulations for Northern Ireland’s PRS, please see www.legislation.gov.uk/nia/2022/20/schedule/3/enacted