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What are the new electrical safety regulations for landlords?

What are the new electrical safety regulations for landlords?

EICR - What is changing from April 1st?

From April 1st 2021, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will need to be carried out for all tenancies.

Landlord and tenant specialist, Will Bartley looks at the new requirements for residential private rented tenancies.

What is checked during an EICR?

An EICR includes testing of all fixed electrical installations, ensuring that everything is up to IET Wiring Regulation standard and that there are no immediate hazards. This must be conducted by a fully qualified and registered engineer; and repeated at least once every 5 years.

Prior to April, only new tenancies were required to have an EICR carried out; this was put in place back in July 2020 with aim to make sure rented property electrics were safe for continued use.

Does the EICR test include PAT testing?

The EICR does not include Portable Appliance Testing. PAT testing is also not a legal requirement within tenancies, however it is recommended that a landlord should have their property tested due to the possible implications of not doing so.

Landlords can be sued for failure to properly and safely maintain portable appliances in their property.

Who pays for an EICR?

The landlord pays for an EICR check to be carried out on their property and also pays for any additional fees such as further work conducted after the report. The cost of an electrical safety report varies between supplier and is also dependant on the property and location.

Is an EICR a legal requirement?

Yes, from April 1st EICR checks will be mandatory and legally enforceable for all tenancies. Landlords are required to ensure that an electrical  installation condition report has been completed for all their properties, failure to do so could result in fines up to £30,000.

These fines will be given out by the local authority, who also have the power to; with permission of the tenant, carry out any emergency work on the property if need be. The costs of any work completed by the authority will fall to the landlord.

What if a property fails the EICR test?

If a property fails the checks then the landlord needs to make sure that the correct work is performed by a qualified person to ensure that the property is electrically safe. This work must be completed within 28 days of the initial inspection.

Once done, the landlord will receive a written report from the electrician. This report will state that the appropriate work has been finished and that the electrical safety standards have now been met, unless further work is required.

Within 28 days of the inspection the landlord must provide their tenant and the local authority with the report and written conformation of electrical safety.

Can a tenant move into a property while remedial work is ongoing?

It is not recommended for a tenant to move in during ongoing electrical work as the property could potentially still be unsafe. A tenant could be at risk of injury and a landlord would be liable.

Does my property need an EICR inspection?

My EICR is still valid, do I need a new inspection with the introduction of mandatory checks?

If your rented property has a valid electrical safety report, a new inspection will not be necessary until your current report expires.

I have an EIC, do I still need an EICR?

If your property has an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC), then you will not need to attain an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

My EICR is valid for 10 years, do I need a new one?

Older electrical safety certificates may state that they are valid for 10 years, but the new regulations mean that reports carried out over 5 years ago will no longer be valid. If your EICR was attained over 5 years ago you will need a new one.

A specialist landlord & tenant solicitors' view

Will Bartley, Tenant & Landlord Executive, said: "It is clear that landlords need to ensure that they are up to date on all of the safety regulations effecting AST’s, as failure to implement such measures into their letting Properties can result in vast fines and potentially the inability to follow certain eviction routes."

Landlord & tenant solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and The New Forest

If you wish for us to assist you with eviction related enquiries, including drafting and issuing proceedings or eviction notices, please feel free to contact us on 01202 499255.

We offer all new clients a free initial chat with one of our bright, friendly lawyers over the phone or by video call.

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