Landlords and estate agents have been placed under the spotlight with parliament voting on a new law that requires all tenanted properties to have a satisfactory EICR (Electrical Installation Condition report) prior to a new tenant taking occupancy from 1st July 2020 and, all existing tenancies from April 1st, 2021.
Local authorities can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for a breach of the regulations. Where there are multiple breaches, the local authority can impose multiple penalties.
This means, agents and landlords have a duty of care to ensure every tenanted property has the fixed electrical installation tested and inspected at least every five years or, at the change of each tenancy, by a qualified person.
A ‘qualified person’ is essentially an electrician, but they need to be qualified up to and including the current ‘electrical safety standards’. This means for electrical installations and, more specifically, refers to the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, BS7671:2018. They should also be certified in City & Guilds 2391 Testing and Inspection.
You will find your local competent person here: https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/Landlords
ARLA (The Association of Residential Lettings Agents) state that a landlord is required to obtain a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report from the person who conducted the inspection and supply it to each tenant within 28 days from the start of a new tenancy agreement. The landlord must also be able to supply the report to the local authority within 7 days, should they ask for it. Despite the concern that certain standards will not be reached with the possibility of landlords and tenants employing inexperienced or under qualified electricians to carry out the work, the Association backs the move with chief executive David Cox saying: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants. Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections.
For all existing tenancies, ‘Satisfactory’ EICRs need to be in place by 1st April 2021.
To breakdown and clarify the paragraphs above, we have laid out the key points below:
Once the EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) has been carried out, the landlord must:
- Ensure they receive a written report from the person conducting the inspection, including results and, the required date for the next inspection.
- Provide a Satisfactory report to a new tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection – July 2020.
- Provide a Satisfactory report to an existing tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection – From 1st April 2021.
- Supply a Satisfactory report within seven days to the local authority, if they request a copy.
- Keep a copy of the report until the next inspection and give a copy to the person undertaking the next inspection.
Should the EICR come back as ‘Unsatisfactory’, you will need to arrange for remedial works to be carried out. Code 1’s will need immediate attention although, you have 28 days to rectify Code 2’s. The electrician should advise you from site regarding Code 1’s and provide a remedial quotation for Code 2’s when submitting the report to you. Remember that if you decide to get a comparison quote, and have a different electrician carry out the remedial works, only the original electrician can update the existing EICR report, so you may need to pay a supplement for them to return and re-test the non-conformances, to obtain your ‘Satisfactory’ report.
Code 1: require immediate action because what has been discovered is dangerous and may cause a threat to life.
Code 2: These are findings that require urgent action because they are potentially dangerous. However, unlike Code 1’s, the electrician doesn’t need to rectify immediately and, therefore, there is potential for you to discuss the remedial work required before proceeding with the best course of action e.g., you may decide to not just rectify the issue reported but instruct a modicum of rewiring.
Code 3: These are recommendations for improvement and do not require any action but maybe something you consider addressing in the future.
KG owner Kyle Gamble has praised the proposals: “This has been a long time coming and ensures that tenants can move into a new property, safe in the knowledge that their electrical systems are safe and fit for purpose. Customer safety is absolutely paramount, and this new law will add another level of safeguarding to landlords, agents and more importantly all tenants.”
“Obviously regular checks are something we already preach here at KG and we’re glad to see this level of safety now being implemented by the government”.
If you would more information or would like to book in an Electrical Installation Condition Report, get in touch with our office.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01727 741993
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