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Getting a periodic inspection of your electrical installations via an Electric Installation Condition Report is the best way to fulfil your legal duties as a landlord and make sure that the electrical infrastructure of your property is safe for your tenants. MK Electrical Solutions can advise on all electrical service you need for your property.
The majority of landlords are proactive when it comes to ensuring the safety of their tenants and make a welcome contribution to the housing market. But a minority fail to do so, putting their tenants in danger as a result.
These new regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.
This means that all landlords now have to do what good landlords already do: make sure the electrical installations in their rented properties are safe.
The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and form part of the Department’s wider work to improve safety in all residential premises and particularly in the private rented sector.
This is a major step towards levelling up the private rented sector, making sure it will offer high-quality, safe and secure housing. Along with our social and owner-occupied sectors, this is housing this country deserves.
This government values the contribution made by good landlords, the majority of whom provide well maintained, safe, secure and high-quality places to live, work and raise families.
Read the Regulations.
2. What do the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require?
Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:
- Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
- Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
- Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
- Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
- Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
- Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
- Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
- Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
- Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
- Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.
3. Which rented properties do the Electrical Safety Regulations apply to?
The regulations came into force on 1 June 2020, they apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. The relevant date for determining when the new requirements apply is the date on which the tenancy is granted. A new tenancy is one that was granted on or after 1 June 2020.
If a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent, then the Regulations apply. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.
Exceptions are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations and include social housing, lodgers, those on a long lease of 7 years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.
4. What about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?
A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from one ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. If an HMO is a tenant’s only or main residence and they pay rent, then these Regulations apply to the HMO.
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 previously put specific duties on landlords around electrical safety. This requirement has now been repealed, and HMOs are now covered by the new Electrical Safety Regulations.
HMOs with 5 or more tenants are licensable. The Housing Act 2004 has been amended by these Regulations to require a new mandatory condition in HMO licences ensuring that every electrical installation in the HMO is in proper working order and safe for continued use. See guidance on HMO licences.
5. The inspection
The Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. The electrical safety industry has established competent person schemes. Membership of these will not be compulsory to ensure there is no further pressure placed on the industry, nor undue burden placed on inspectors and testers.
When commissioning an inspection, in order to establish if a person is qualified and competent landlords can:
- check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme; or
- require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.
What standard should the electrical installation meet?
The standards that should be met are set out in the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations.
The Regulations state that a landlord must ensure that electrical safety standards are met, and that investigative or remedial work is carried out if the report requires this.
The electrical installation should be safe for continued use. In practice, if the report does not require investigative or remedial work, the landlord will not be required to carry out any further work.
What will be inspected and tested?
The ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the consumer unit (or fuse box) will be inspected. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors.
What will happen in the inspection?
The inspection will find out if:
- any electrical installations are overloaded
- there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
- there is any defective electrical work
- there is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Getting a periodic inspection of your electrical installations via an Electric Installation Condition Report is the best way to fulfil your legal duties as a landlord and make sure that the electrical infrastructure of your property is safe for your tenants.
Your EICR should be carried out by a registered electrician. The inspection will check the condition of your property’s wiring, look for wear & tear and see if your property’s electrical installations pose any shock or fire hazards. You will then receive a report from the electrician.
How Often Do I Need to Carry out a Condition Report
As a landlord, your duty is to ensure the safety of the electrical infrastructure of your property.
You must ensure the electrical installations in the rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
Do You Need EICR in Houses with multiple occupancy (HMO)
If you are the landlord of an HMO, then you must carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report every five years. This will reveal any defective electrical work, identify fire hazards and check if any circuits are overloaded and dangerous.
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