Electrical Safety Standards from 1/7/20 new tenancies and 1/04/21 existing

by Property 118

15:07 PM, 1st July 2020
About a month ago

Electrical Safety Standards from 1/7/20 new tenancies and 1/04/21 existing

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Electrical Safety Standards from 1/7/20 new tenancies and 1/04/21 existing

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require that landlords have property electrics checked at least every 5 years by a properly qualified person. The electrics must meet standards and landlords must give their tenants proof of this. click here to view

Local authorities may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach of their duties.

These Regulations apply in England only to—

(a)all new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020; and

(b)all existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021.

From the legislation >> http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/regulation/3/made

Duties of private landlords in relation to electrical installations

3.—(1) A private landlord(1) who grants or intends to grant a specified tenancy must—

(a)ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises(2) are occupied under a specified tenancy;

(b)ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person; and

(c)ensure the first inspection and testing is carried out—

(i)before the tenancy commences in relation to a new specified tenancy; or

(ii)by 1st April 2021 in relation to an existing specified tenancy.

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:

  • Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

Which rented properties do the Electrical Safety Regulations apply to?

The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

If a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent, then the Regulations apply. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.

What about HMOs?

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from one ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. If an HMO is a tenant’s only or main residence and they pay rent, then these Regulations apply to the HMO.

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 previously put specific duties on landlords around electrical safety. This requirement has now been repealed, and HMOs are now covered by the new Electrical Safety Regulations.

HMOs with 5 or more tenants are licensable. The Housing Act 2004 has been amended by these Regulations to require a new mandatory condition in HMO licences ensuring that every electrical installation in the HMO is in proper working order and safe for continued use. See guidance on HMO licences.

How do I find a ‘qualified and competent person’ to carry out the test?

The Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years.

Guidance has been produced by the electrical safety industry that covers how landlords can choose a qualified and competent inspector and tester. This includes, but is not limited to:

The electrical safety industry has established competent person schemes. Membership of these will not be compulsory to ensure there is no further pressure placed on the industry, nor undue burden placed on inspectors and testers.

When commissioning an inspection, in order to establish if a person is qualified and competent landlords can:

  • check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme; or
  • require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.

What standard should the electrical installation meet?

The standards that should be met are set out in the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations.

The Regulations state that a landlord must ensure that electrical safety standards are met, and that investigative or remedial work is carried out if the report requires this.

The electrical installation should be safe for continued use. In practice, if the report does not require investigative or remedial work, the landlord will not be required to carry out any further work.

What will be inspected and tested?

The ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the consumer unit (or fuse box) will be inspected. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors.

What will happen in the inspection?

The inspection will find out if:

  • any electrical installations are overloaded
  • there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • there is any defective electrical work
  • there is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations

What about electrical appliances like cookers, fridges, televisions etc?

The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations.

We recommend that landlords regularly carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on any electrical appliance that they provide and then supply tenants with a record of any electrical inspections carried out as good practice.

Tenants are responsible for making sure that any of their own electrical appliances are safe.

See guidance on portable appliance testing (PAT).

Tenants and landlords may consider registering their own electrical appliances with a product registration scheme.

 The report

Landlords must obtain a report (usually an Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) from the person conducting the inspection and test which explains its outcomes and any investigative or remedial work required.

Landlords must then supply a copy of this report to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test, to a new tenant before they occupy the premises, and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.

If a local authority requests it, landlords must supply them with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving the request.

If the report requires remedial work or further investigation, landlords must provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant and to the local authority within 28 days of completing the work.

Landlords must retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.

What will the report show?

The electrical installation should be safe for continued use. In practice, if the report does not require investigative or remedial work, the landlord will not be required to carry out any further work.

Inspectors will use the following classification codes to indicate where a landlord must undertake remedial work.

  • Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. The electrical inspector may make any C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.
  • Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
  • Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay.
  • Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Further remedial work is not required for the report to be deemed satisfactory.

If codes C1 or C2 are identified in on the report, then remedial work will be required. The report will state the installation is unsatisfactory for continued use.

If an inspector identifies that further investigative work is required (FI), the landlord must also ensure this is carried out.

The C3 classification code does not indicate remedial work is required, but only that improvement is recommended. Landlords don’t have to make the improvement, but it would improve the safety of the installation if they did.

What about new build properties or new electrical installations?

If a property is newly built or has been completely rewired, it should have an Electrical Installation Certificate known as an EIC.

Landlords can provide a copy of the EIC to tenants and, if requested, the local authority. The landlord will then not be required to carry out further checks or provide a report for 5 years after the EIC has been issued, as long as they have complied with their duty or duties under the Regulations.

Remedial work

If the report shows that remedial work or further investigation is required, as set out above, landlords must complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report. Landlords must then provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant and to the local authority within 28 days.

What if I don’t do the remedial work?

If a local authority has reasonable grounds to believe that a landlord is in breach of one or more of the duties in the Regulations, they must serve a remedial notice on the landlord requiring remedial action.

Should a landlord not comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for remedial action to be taken themselves.

The local authority can recover the costs of taking the action from the landlord. The landlord has the right of appeal against a demand for costs.

What if a tenant won’t let me in, or I can’t find an inspector?

A landlord is not in breach of their duty to comply with a remedial notice, if the landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.

A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with their tenants and with electricians as they tried to arrange the work, including any replies they have had. Landlords may also want to provide other evidence they have that the installation is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works. This could include the servicing record and previous safety reports.

Urgent remedial action

If the report indicates that urgent remedial action is required, and the landlord has not carried this out within the period specified in the report, the local authority may with the consent of the tenant arrange to carry out remedial work.

The local authority must authorise a qualified and competent person in writing to undertake the remedial action and give at least 48 hours’ notice to the tenant.

The costs for carrying out the remedial work can be recovered from the landlord.

Can I appeal against local authorities serving a notice, taking remedial action or a financial penalty?

Yes, landlords can appeal against the decision of a local authority.

In the first instance, landlords have 21 days to make written representations to a local authority against a remedial notice and the intention to impose a financial penalty. The remedial notice is suspended until the local authority considers representations. The local authority must inform the landlord of their decision within 7 days.

Landlords then have a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against:

  • The decision to take remedial action by the local authority. An appeal must be made within 28 days from the day on which a remedial notice is served.
  • A demand for the recovery of costs made by the local authority following remedial action.
  • The decision to take urgent remedial action by the local authority. An appeal must be made within 28 days from the day on which the work started.
  • A financial penalty.

Appeals are made to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). See more information on the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).



Comments

Martin Weaver

8:48 AM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

Does this legislation apply in wales ?

Porky

8:54 AM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Weaver at 02/07/2020 - 08:48
No it doesn't yet. I guess it won't be long before it does apply I Wales

Porky

9:00 AM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

If as a landlord I have an EICR completed and it includes a C1 or C2 and I choose not to have the remedial work carried out. Can I use this as reason for eviction of a current tenant within the 28 day timeframe?

LordOf TheManor

9:00 AM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

All the above I noted and I had the work lined up for April......

Most electricians are furloughed until later this month when they can go part-time.

Has anyone tried getting hold of an electrician lately????

With student house change-over yesterday (01 July) and two universities in Bristol, how easy would you guess that has been during lockdown????

My places are uptogether and regularly checked, however to do the EICR inspection then return to remedy any C2 issues requires 2 appointments for one property plus the time to obtain the supplies for the job.

All this done and socially distance-juggled and timetabled around other trades..... one in, one out. I completed my third re-let during the lockdown yesterday and it's been bloody hard going!!!

It would have been very helpful if the government, or even our housing minister, had recognised the new guidelines of 01 July clashing with the furloughed status of most electricians - and appreciated what a big ask it has been to achieve.

Lord

Paul landlord

10:55 AM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Porky at 02/07/2020 - 09:00
Not quite sure if im reading this right so my apologies if I'm misunderstanding you.

Are you saying that if you are found through no fault of the tenant, you are found to be allowing them to reside in a property with a 'dangerous electrical installation', you want to choose to leave the dangerous electrics and use the fact you are letting them live in dangerous conditions as excuse to evict the tenant?

If so then firstly id say your in breach of various Acts by not supplying the tenant with a safe property.

Why would you not want to fix dangerous electrics?

Why should they be evicted through you failing to act as a responsible landlord?

In any case as I read the statement it says you are duty bound to have the C1s and C2s corrected within 28 days or the council have the power to do it for you and charge you (I imagine quite handsomely too). And that can be on top of a hefty fine for failing in your duties.

Im a registered electrician as well as a landlord by the way.

My advice is if you are electrics are dangerous then make them safe.

If a gas safety cert showed a hazard what options do you consider you contemplate you would have out of interest?

Porky

12:00 PM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by paul landlord at 02/07/2020 - 10:55
I'm not implying that the tenant is left in an unsafe property. There are two ways to do this a) fix the problem or b) get the tenant out of the property. I then have lots if time to fix the problem and also do extensive refurbishment before 're letting or selling the property.

moneymanager

13:57 PM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

On the ever reliable gov.uk site the link reads:

3. Which rented properties do the Electrical Safety Regulations apply to?

The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2020.

Notwithstanding the obvious error can someone clarify the position re fixed term renewals between now and next April.

Porky

16:24 PM, 2nd July 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by moneymanager at 02/07/2020 - 13:57
I read this as: if a tenant is in place now regardless of how many times the fixed renewal period is extended the EICR tests do not need to be carried out until April 21. However if you have a change of tenant between now and April 21 then you must get an EICR done and any corrective work completed before the new tenant takes the keys to the property indeed even before a new tenant begins the process of renting your property.

Julie Dawson

13:50 PM, 29th July 2020
About 2 weeks ago

I have 2 Questions if anyone can help ... having looked back on existing reports I have on file, most of my certificates state that they need to be re-done in 5 years, but I have a few that say 10 years, is this normal, and are they still valid ?
Also some have "Building Regulation Certificates of Compliance", one of my landlords is asking if they will get one of these ? when do they get sent and when do they not ?


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