Electrical safety checks for privately rented properties
Posted on 15th May 2021
New regulations to make sure that all privately rented properties meet minimum electrical safety standards came into effect on 1 July 2020 for new tenancies. From April this year all privately rented properties and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) should have a current electrical inspection and condition report (EICR) which is renewed at least every five years.
If a rental property has had an EICR within the last five years, a new inspection won’t be needed until it expires. However, ten-year inspection certificates won’t be valid.
What landlords must do
Private landlords will be responsible for making sure the inspections are completed. Every fixed electrical installation must be inspected and tested by a qualified professional.
The Regulations say that landlords must give a copy of the report to each tenant within 28 days and keep a copy themselves. A copy of the report must also be given to whoever carries out the next inspection.
Landlords must also provide a copy of the report:
within seven days if the local housing authority requests one
to a new tenant before they move in
within 28 days if a prospective tenant asks for one.
Carrying out the work
investigate it further or repair it within 28 days, or earlier if required in the report.
Following further investigations or repairs, the landlord must keep written confirmation of what has been done and that electrical safety standards have been met, or what further work will be needed. This process continues until the property meets the required safety standards.
Confirmation that the work has been done must be given to each existing tenant within 28 days, along with the original report that identified what was needed.
If the work isn’t carried out the local housing authority can give a landlord a remedial notice to carry out the recommended work. If the work isn’t completed, the local authority can make the repairs at the landlord’s expense and can impose a penalty of up to £30,000 for each breach.
Who should carry out the electrical inspection?
any further investigations or repairs needed to meet electrical safety standards.
The purpose of the inspection is to:
find potential fire hazards or electric shock risks
identify defective electrical work
detect earthing or bonding issues
highlight overloading of electrical circuits or equipment.
Excluded from the regulations
Some types of tenancy are excluded:
where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing
when the occupier shares accommodation with the landlord or a member of the landlord’s family
long lease tenancies including those that grant a right of occupation for seven years or more
hostels, refuges, care homes, hospices, hospitals, and other healthcare buildings.
If your rental property is a new build or has been completely rewired, you won’t need an EICR for five years. Instead, you will have an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).
Please get in touch if you would like any further information concerning electrical safety in privately rented properties.
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