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New Safety Laws To Impact Landlords In England

It has been announced that the UK Secretary of State has passed new legislation affecting rental properties in England. The 'Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations' is set to become statutory on 1st June 2020. We've broken down the legislation to pinpoint the impact on landlords and estate agents.

The regulations have been under review for several years, recently going in front of the Houses of Parliament in March and was duly passed on 18th March 2020. The regulations impose new duties on landlords of residential property in England regarding electrical safety standards.

Landlords will now have a duty to ensure electrical safety inspections, known as EICR's are conducted at rental properties every 5 years. In the past, electrical inspections were only recommended for domestic rental properties, but mandatory for HMO's (shared homes). The new duties do not apply to landlords of social housing at this time.

The main points in brief:

  • All new tenancies must have a valid EICR from 1st July 2020.

  • All existing tenancies must have an EICR by 1st April 2021.

  • All urgent remedial work to be actioned by 28 days after the report is issued. 

  • Tenants must be served with a copy of the completed report within 28 days.

  • The report must be available to the local authority, who should receive it within 7 days from their request to obtain it.

  • Failure to comply fines of up to £30,000.

We've put together a list of FAQ's below to answer questions you may have:

What is an EICR?

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is a thorough process of testing an electrical installation in a property. On average, this takes our electricians between 2-4 hours work at a domestic property, plus additional time to write the report. The report takes up to 3 working days to publish and averages 10 pages long. 

Is this the same as an EPC?

No. The inspection takes place using the knowledge of an electrician skilled in test & inspection. They use specialist equipment and interpret a multitude of readings, making observations on the state of the installation, whilst referencing a book called the BS7671: 2018 (Feb 2020 amendment).

How long will I have to get this actioned if remedial work is needed?

A landlord will have 28 days for remedial works to take place and to share a copy of the report to any tenants.

How can a private landlord prove that they have had remedial works done?

The landlord must obtain and supply written confirmation of completion of such further investigative or remedial works to the tenant and potentially the local housing authority, if requested. This is normally a 'Minor Works Certificate'.

What can I do if I disagree with the outcome of an EICR?

A landlord may appeal against the results contained in the EICR directly to the electrical contractor/electrician. They must state why they think the installation meets the guidelines as set out in the latest version of the BS7671.

Will a landlord need to show tenants the report?

Yes, this is another change. The landlord must supply a copy of the current report to any new tenant before occupation, or any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request.

Can anyone do an EICR? Maybe an inventory clerk or estate agent?

No. This can only be performed by a skilled electrician who can prove they are competent. We insist that our team hold advanced electrical test & inspection qualifications certified by licensed bodies such as City & Guilds, plus additional wiring regulations qualifications, such as the 18th Edition. 

What does electrical safety standards mean within the legislation?

The 'Electrical Safety Standards' that the legislation refers to is the standards for electrical installations in the Eighteenth Edition of the Wiring Regulations, published by the Institution of Engineering & Technology and the British Standards Institution as BS7671: 2018, which at the time of writing is to the February 2020 amendment.

How often does a property need an electrical safety check?

In regular intervals of every 5 years. For a new lease, this will be from the 1st July 2020. For an existing tenancy, the property will need an EICR by 1st April 2021.

In addition to an EICR, we suggest that landlords supplying portable electrical appliances (fridge/freezer, lamps, lawnmowers etc.) at a rental property has a valid PAT test certificate to validate insurance and demonstrate due diligence.

Telephone Deltic Solutions on 0800 061 4141 for further advice and a quote. We supply EICR's in Andover, Basingstoke, Winchester, Salisbury, Newbury, Reading, Fleet, Camberley, Bracknell and surrounding areas.

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