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Electrical Testing Now Compulsory In Rental Properties From 2020
New regulations have come into force for rental properties in 2020 with a view to landlords improving safety levels for their tenants. Whilst the majority of landlords provide well maintained, safe, secure and good quality places to live, there is a minority which fail to do so and therefore are potentially putting their tenants in danger.
Regulations require all landlords to have their electrical installations in their rental properties tested and inspected at least every five years. All landlords will be required to provide a copy of the electrical installation condition report to their tenants, and also to their local authority, if requested.
The First EICR Changes: June 1st 2020
The new regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and are applicable to new tenancies from 1 July 2020. These regulations (Read here the updated law.) require for an Electrical Installation Condition Report to be obtained before the start of any new tenancy from 1st July 2020.
The inspection is designed to check that all electrical installations in the property, for example fuseboards and electrical sockets, are safe to use prior to the tenants moving in. If your property passes the inspection, the certificate issued is valid for a five year period. Upon expiry of the certificate, the landlord will require a new one be obtained.
The landlord is required to supply a copy of the certificate to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection. There is also a requirement to supply a copy to prospective tenants within 28 days of a written request.
It is also recommended that landlords keep copies of the certificate on file for both the local authority (if so requested) and also as a point of reference for the next inspector when the certificate needs to be renewed.
The Second EICR Changes: April 1st 2021
The regulations will change again on 1st April 2021. From this date on, the above rules will apply to all tenancies. This will mean that all landlords must ensure they have an EICR performed on each of their properties in England by this date. They must then give the tenants a copy of the report within 28 days.
What If My Property Failed the Checks?
When a property does not pass the inspection and the report requires the landlord to make repairs to ensure the safety of the property, then those repairs must be made by a qualified person within 28 days (unless the report specifies that they are to be performed sooner).
After the follow up appointment, the qualified person must then provide the landlord with written confirmation that either that the required safety standards have now been met, or that further work is required. This written confirmation must then be provided to the local housing authority, along with a copy of the original report, within 28 days of the further work. Copies must also be provided to each tenant within 28 days of the initial work being completed.
The Penalties for Not Having an EICR
As of July 1st 2020, any landlords who fail to conduct an EICR (and any recommended remedial works) before the commencement of a new tenancy will face fines of up to £30,000. Your local authority is responsible for enforcing these new rules, as specified under the Housing Act 2004.
Your local authority can even arrange remedial action if the repairs and improvements recommended in the reports are not made. Landlords are given a 28 day period to carry out works if they receive a notice of remedial action. If the notice is an urgent one, the timeframe may be shorter.
The EICR Rules for Scotland and Wales
Scotland has applied similar regulations since late 2015. As of December 1st 2015, landlords have been required to ensure that regular electrical safety inspections are carried out by a competent person (as per sections 13(4A) and 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006).
These safety inspections combine two separate tests. The first is an EICR of the electrical installation, fixtures and fittings and the second a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) for the moveable appliances.
All EICR reports must be carried out by a competent person. This is someone employed by a company that is a member of an accredited registration scheme, operated by a recognised body. In Scotland, this will normally mean NICEIC or the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT).
In Wales, there are currently no requirements for landlords to arrange EICR reports. However, it is worth noting that landlords still remain responsible for ensuring their properties are safe to let and therefore, obtaining an EICR every 5 years is very strongly recommended.
What about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?
An HMO, or house in multiple occupation, is a property which is rented out by at least 3 people who are not from one ‘household’ (for example a family) but have the use of shared facilities such as a kitchen and bathroom. When an HMO is the tenant’s only, or main, residence and they pay rent, then the new regulations will apply to the HMO.
Order Your EICR Now through MyConstructor
MyConstructor provides EICR services throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Our large network of fully qualified electricians are fully vetted before they can work with us so you don’t need to worry about checking their credentials. The size of our network also ensures that we will also have someone local to you, which in turn saves you money. All you need to do is enter the postcode of your property and select the number of bedrooms in the property.
You can then browse all of the available electrical engineers in your area. Read reviews from previous customers and see their ratings. Once you are happy that you’ve got the right electrician, at best rate possible, just book the time and date that best suits you. You can count on MyConstructor to deliver your Electrical Installation Condition Report in accordance with your deadline.