Housing Minister Heather Wheeler is switching landlords in England to new electrical safety rules for buy to let and shared rented homes.
She has promised to bring in the new measure as soon as parliamentary time allows.
The updated regime will ensure landlords have electrical installations in rented homes checked for safety every five years by a qualified inspector.
“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 change in policy follows a consultation on electrical safety in private rented homes in 2018.
“We intend to introduce new legislation on a phased basis, starting with new tenancies, as soon as Parliamentary time allows,” says the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
“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 announcement is the latest in a string of measures aimed at safeguarding tenants in private rented homes, including the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, which came into force earlier this month and plans to set up a Housing Complaints Resolution Service with compulsory landlord membership.