Mandatory Electrical Safety legislation for landlords arrived in England from July 1st 2020
Landlords need to be aware that the electrical safety certificates became mandatory by law for all new tenancies in England from July 1st 2020.
All existing tenancies will also have to comply on or before April 1st 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, under the government’s guidance, landlords and letting agents are also required to provide safe homes.
What electrical certificate do I need?
Landlords will be required to provide tenants with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
The checks entail a qualified electrician to check all the circuits from the consumer unit of the property and ensure they are safe.
Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 means landlords need to maintain their properties to ensure they are safe and compliant of the new electrical safety standards.
What are the new electrical standards I must comply with?
Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 means the checks must meet the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.
What tenancies do the electrical safety regulations apply to?
The new regulations apply to residential tenancies where tenants have the right to occupy either all or part of a premises as their only or primary residence, they pay rent to live there, and it is not listed as an excluded tenancy.
These new regulations currently apply to rental properties in England. The rules also replace those already in place for HMOs in England.
Do I need to give my tenant an electrical certificate?
You are required under the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 to give a copy of the EICR to your tenants before their tenancy commences.
Any re-inspections of the EICR, landlords are required to provide tenants, with a copy of the certificate, within 28 days of the inspection.
If your tenant or the local authority requests a copy of the EICR in writing, you must also provide them with the certificate within 28 days.
Landlords who do not comply could face financial penalties for non-compliance.
How often do I need to have an electrical check done?
A standard EICR lasts five years.
I have an electrical certificate for the property, do I need to get a new one?
This is unclear at this moment due to the fact the 18th edition came out in 2019. The regulations seem to suggest a property should meet the standards of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. This does potentially mean most current electrical certificates before the 18th edition may be invalid.
However, according to the Ministry of Housing (MHCLG), the intent is for existing EICRs to remain valid until properties need to replace their existing one.
Landlords should watch out for news if there is any update regarding this issue.
What is a “qualified person” who can do the check?
A “qualified person” is deemed to be someone who is electrically qualified and ‘competent’ to perform the inspections or the works required to comply.
They are required to possess the qualifications set out in the recent update to the Electro-technical Assessment Specifications.
How much does an electrical check cost?
This depends on the electrician, the area and the size of the property. The cost could range from £100 to £300.
What happens if I have not complied?
You could face a civil penalty of up to £30,000 per breach.
The local authorities have the power to enforce the new regulations, where a breach has been committed.
Portable appliance testing (PAT)
If electrical appliances as part of a tenancy, are provided, the law expects them to be maintained in a safe condition that will not cause death or harm to the tenant.
The legislation does not set out how landlords should ensure they do this. We say PAT testing is always a good practice for landlords, although it is not a legal requirement yet.