Nothing ever stands still when it comes to lettings, and last month new regulation came into practice, The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. With the pandemic and all the uncertainty that it has brought, at The Apartment Company we want to make sure that you haven’t overlooked this legislative change and have made sure that your electrics are up to the new standard.
When it comes to electrical installation of your residential premises, as a landlord in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) you need to ensure that your installation is inspected by a qualified and competent person, and also tested at intervals of 5 years or less.
The regulations apply to all new specified tenancies in England from 1st July 2020, and also existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021. There are some exceptions to this new regulation, including social housing, being accommodation that is shared with a landlord or landlord’s family, long leases, and hostels and refuges, amongst others.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is typically used within the industry. This report assesses the safety and condition of the existing electrical installation within your rental properties. Switches and sockets, consumer units, protective bonding and lighting are just some of the parts of the system which are required to be reported on. This is so it can be confirmed, as far as possible, that the electrical installation work has been completed safely and is also safe for continued use. When you receive your EICR report, it will clearly state whether the electrical installation in your property is in a satisfactory or unsatisfactory condition.
A ‘competent person’ is required to undertake the electrical inspection; this is someone who has the necessary qualification. We can certainly provide you with a recommendation, but also check for electricians registered with governing bodies such as NICEIC and NAPIT. According to the regulations, they must also have:
- An up to date qualification which covers the current version of the wiring regulations (BS 7671).
- An up to date qualification that covers periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.
- At least two years’ experience in carrying out periodic inspection and testing.
- Adequate insurance in place, which includes at least £2 million public liability insurance and £250,000 professional indemnity insurance.
You also have responsibilities once the inspection and testing is completed. As a private landlord you must receive the report from the electrician who conducted the test; as well as the results of the inspection and test, it must also state the date of the next inspection and test. A copy of this report should then be given to your existing tenant within 28 days of the date of the inspection/test. After receiving a request from your local housing authority, you must send a copy to them within 7 days of that request.
It is essential that you keep a copy of the report until you have obtained a new one when your next inspection and test is due. When you have a new tenant, they must also receive a copy of the most recent report before their tenancy starts. Should a prospective tenant request a copy of the report in writing, you must ensure they receive the report within 28 days.
If you receive an unsatisfactory Electrical Installation Safety Report, it will identify what works are required to bring your property up to standard. In this case, you need to make sure that any works are undertaken by a qualified electrician within 28 days, or within the period that is stated in the report – bear in mind that this could be less than 28 days.
When the works have been completed, you must obtain from your electrician written confirmation that all the works have been undertaken and your property now meets the standard, or that further work and investigation is required. Again, a copy of this report must be sent to your existing tenant within 28 days.
We’re sure you understand why this measure has been put in place; it will not only protect your property but also help to keep your tenants safe from electrical faults due to old or faulty wiring. For those properties we manage, our lettings team at The Apartment Company are working with our landlords to ensure they are compliant in all aspects of lettings. Please don’t ignore this new regulation, as local authorities can impose a fine for those who don’t comply, of up to £30,000.
If you would like more advice on how to stay compliant, contact our lettings team.