Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector: April Legislation Deadline
Electrical safety is very important. Yet now, it is becoming a legal requirement. From 1st April 2021, it will be essential for all homes in the private rented sector to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR report) in place. This means landlords and housing associations will need to comply in order to meet the national standard for electrical safety.
The new act means that all electrical installations in residential homes must be inspected at least every five years. For properties with older systems, landlords may be required to arrange more regular EICR testing. Once an inspection has been carried out, any remedial works must be completed within 28 days.
What is an EICR report?
A key part of residential and business electrical safety, EICR reports cover everything from distribution boards to light fixtures. The report details the state of every element, using four obversation codes. Code C1 is the most severe and means danger is present. For these, fast action is needed. Code C2 means there’s a potentially dangerous defect with your system, while Code C3 means improvements are recommended. Finally, Code FI means that the engineer has found something that needs to be looked at more closely.
New government regulations
So what do the new government electrical safety regulations mean for landlords and social housing professionals? Well, at least every five years you will need to hire a qualified professional to carry out a full EICR report. It is a legal requirement and without a report you could be prosecuted.
Landlords will need to keep hold of the report for the full five-year period, as it will need to be given to the engineer carrying out the follow-up visit. A copy will also need to be given to each tenant living in the property, within 28 days. For new rentals, landlords must issue a copy of the most recent inspection report to their new occupant, before they move in. Additionally, tenants have the right to request a copy before signing a contract. You can find the full Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 online.
Failure to comply
What happens if you fail to comply with the new regulations? The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 states that landloards must take all steps to ensure the electrical safety of their privately rented homes. The guideance states: “A landlord would not be in breach of the duty to comply with a remedial notice if the landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.”
Failure to comply could lead to prosecution, fines and even damage to your home. This also puts your tenants at risk, so compliance is extremely important.
How can we help?
At Hexo Services, we offer EICR reports and same-day remedial works. We work with private sector landlords, social housing landlords and housing associations across London and the South East. We offer various surveys to help housing professionals stay compliant. This includes PAT testing and fixed-wired testing.
You can find further guidance for local authorities here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guidance-for-local-authorities#enforcement-action
As well as guidance for private landlords here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector#further-questions
Our friends at the NAPIT, the leading Government-approved accreditation service in the building services sector, have also put together some helpful information for professionals working with private rentals: https://www.napit.org.uk/downloads/Electrical-Safety-in-the-Private-Rented-Sector-Regulations-Guidance-for-Landlords-NAPIT.pdf
How much does an EICR cost?
Are you wondering how much an EICR costs? Well, electrical safety checks aren’t as expensive as you might think. We offer EICR reports from as little as £110, for up to ten circuits in one property. For the best price, arrange your inspection during the week between 8am and 5pm. For larger residential premises, or multiple properties, contact us for a bespoke quotation. Find all our EICR costs on our dedicated prices page.
If you need any further information on the legislation, EICR costs, or on how we might be able to assist you, get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 0207 315 4151.