Electrical safety checks will have to be carried out in all private rental properties in England, according to Regulations now laid in Parliament. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 look set to become law from April 1 this year, initially applying to all new tenancies. Inspections are likely to be required of electrical installations from July 1.
By April 1, 2021, there would have to be electrical safety checks in all rental properties with existing tenancies and safety checks would then have to be done at five-yearly intervals. Copies of the report will have to be provided to prospective tenants on request and given to new tenants before they move in. Local councils can also request a copy of the report, which must be provided within seven days and any remedial work required must be done within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.
Enforcement is by the local authority, which can order that work be done. Failure could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
It is a periodic inspection report on a property’s safety relating to its fixed wiring. This report has also been labelled as the ‘Landlord Safety Test’ or ‘Homebuyers Test’ and they are conducted by qualified electricians.
The main purpose of an EICR is to guarantee the safety of the residents and to ensure they are not susceptible to electrical shocks and/or fires. It will show if anything is not safe, indicating whether remedial work is an obligation or simply recommended.
Why do I need an EICR?
You cannot see electricity and, in many cases, you cannot view the conduits or cables that use electricity because they are often hidden inside walls, and consumer units are located in cupboards, where they are not immediately visible. It is unsurprising that we often forget to check the condition of our electrical installations for damage or signs of wear and tear. Faulty and old wiring is one of the main causes of electrical fires in the home but you can reduce the risk of a fire by regularly checking your cables, switches and sockets, to see that they are in good condition.
At Maxine Lester Lettings & Property Management we have been working towards electrical safety for all of our managed properties for the past 24 months. Over 40% of our new properties have an EICR. However it will now be a challenge to ensure that the remainder of our properties are covered in time. We are capacity planning with our recommended electricians, to ensure they have the resources available to ensure all properties are safely covered by the deadline.
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