Myth-busting – Electrical Safety installations Act 2020

by Andrew Roberts

11:19 AM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Myth-busting – Electrical Safety installations Act 2020

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Myth-busting – Electrical Safety installations Act 2020

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020 and will apply to all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020.

Thanks to Bill Stiles from Adept Electrical – http://www.adeptelectrical.co.uk/ for this simple myth-busting session on the new electrical standards. If your electrician has told you that you need a new fuse board then watch this video first.

This is especially important for HMO’s as councils are now asking for these reports when applying for a licence and if the person is not qualified they are rejecting inspection reports leading to the landlord having to pay for a second report.

These new regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected at least every 5 years and tested by a person who is qualified and competent. Landlords will also have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants as well as to the local authority if requested. For most landlords in the private rented sector, this will not require a change in behaviour. The majority of landlords already check their installations regularly, so they can provide the safest homes possible. However, to ensure every landlord can comply with these regulations, NAPIT have produced the following guidance on the requirements.

The regulations say: Private landlords must ensure every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person. So look for someone part of NAPIT, NICEIC, Benchmark, OFTEC, STROMA, BESCA, ELECSA and APHC

The regulations apply in England to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021. Following the inspection and testing, a private landlord must: obtain a report from the person conducting that inspection and test, which gives the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next inspection and test supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test supply a copy of that report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that authority retain a copy of that report until the next inspection and test is due and supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises; and any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that prospective tenant

What ‘report’ should I be asking for?

The regulations just refer to a report being obtained by the person conducting the inspection and test. Typically, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used within the industry for this purpose. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and is used to describe its condition. Parts of the system that are reported on include consumer units, protective bonding, lighting, switches and sockets etc. Its purpose is to confirm as far as possible whether or not the electrical installation is in a safe condition for continued service. The EICR will show whether the electrical installation is in a ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ condition and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or requiring improvements. These observations will be supported by codes.

Unsatisfactory Codes are: C1 – Danger present, risk of injury, immediate remedial action required

C2 – Potentially Dangerous, urgent remedial action required

FI – Further investigation required

A Satisfactory Code is:

C3 – Improvement recommended

Does my electrical installation need to comply with the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations?

No- not if it is still deemed to be safe. The 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations states: “existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the regulations may not comply with this edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading”.


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Comments

Jamie Finch

12:35 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Hi, thanks for your article. It seems to me that if I already have a DOMESTIC ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION CERTIFICATE from with the last 5 years and all electrical elements of the house were checked and found to be safe, then I don't need a new EICR. Is this correct please?

Many thanks
Jamie

DM

13:26 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Been having tests over the last 15 years and what actually grips me is when an electrician deems an installation of 15yr requires another check in 3 years! If an installation from 30+ yrs get quoted the 4yrs for a retest then there is no end to all this. There is no standardisation on the retest dates set by the electricians..

Basically we are now at the mercy of electricians ...

Andrew

13:38 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DM at 03/08/2020 - 13:26
The law now states a 5 year retest window for an EICR Inspection Electrical Condition Report for let properties. I anticipate this becoming part of the mandatory documents to be served on a new tenancy like EPC, Right to Rent CP12 gas cert etc.

Andrew

13:39 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jamie Finch at 03/08/2020 - 12:35
I'll message Bill and get him to reply to you on that one. It is once every 5 years.

Trapped Landlord

13:44 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Fantastic idea ! Naturally, the rents will be increased accordingly. Maybe Shelter could now invest some its dosh educating tenants on how to keep themselves safe now all of our properties are tip top.

Denise G

13:47 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

I wish I'd seen your excellent video before commissioning our 4 reports.
The electricians we selected are members of NICEIC, CHAS, Constructionline and SSIP and are approved by Kent Trading Standards, Checkatrade.com and Trustmark - BUT so far we've had 2 checks done and both came back with Unsatisfactory reports (and I am expecting 2 more any day now).
Both of the first 2 reports we have seen so far (as they would only permit us to see them once we’d paid the £120.00 each for them and they’ve not yet billed us for the second 2) have coded as C2 'replace the battery smoke alarms in situ with optic hardwired alarms'!
We did some research and challenged that and have had installation of those removed from both quotes.
Both reports also coded replacing plastic fuse boxes as C2 - one of which we challenged and had removed , the other we accepted … because we were convinced of the need to replace it due to its position by the only exit route
We were then informed that if they do the follow up work needed in order to secure a Satisfactory report, we won't have to pay them another £120.00 for a repeat check!
We agreed to them doing the residue of the C3 and C2 work – including in one property replacing the plastic fuse boxes (at a cost of £600+) after they convinced us it was necessary because those 2 boxes are sited close to the only exit from the property.
I am annoyed to note today, on checking their revised quote for the property where they aren’t replacing the fuse box, that we have agreed to their replacing a perfectly good battery smoke alarm (is that even in their remit??) with another battery smoke alarm!
We are now wondering did we actually need to pay them to do any of the C3 and C2 work at all (£800 worth for the 2 properties we know about up to now so once we have the information for the other 2 who knows how much they will make out of us???) or should we have challenged the reports ever being issued as Unsatisfactory, as there are no C1s on either of them - or should we simply have asked them to revise both of the reports to Satisfactory, saying we would have the C2s and C3s done before the next inspection comes due?
The last 2 inspections (so we owe them another £240.00 already) we commissioned were conducted 10 days ago now – but we are yet to receive a request for payment or see the reports. Nor have we heard back from them that the work we agreed to them doing in the first 2 properties has been completed to give us our Satisfactory reports!
PS - I have now spoken with our tenant in one of the second 2 properties to be inspected and he has been told that his home has failed the electrical safety check because of its having a plastic fuse box. We, as the landlords and who after all will be paying the bill, have heard nothing as yet!
What is really narking us though, is that immediately we saw the bilge about hard wired optic alarms it felt like we were dealing with an outfit who were trying to rip us off – and now our feelings about that would seem to be confirmed.

Trapped Landlord

13:58 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

To me, this all hinges on which electrician is sent in to carry out these reports. Last week I was informed that out of the 10 properties given to our ' competent electrician' , 8 needed full rewires. Immediately, I sent in another electrician, who was happy to carry out a certain amount of remedial work and subsequently passed them off. This chap will now be carrying out our reports exclusively.

Andrew

14:03 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 03/08/2020 - 13:47
Im so sorry to hear of your situation

It sounds like this firm are using this as a means to bill you.

I had a couple of C3's which are advisorys only like on your car MOT cant fail it but notifies you of situation.

Andrew

14:04 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Trapped Landlord at 03/08/2020 - 13:58
There are all sorts of tradesmen so good some less good.

Hopefully the video by Bill both a landlord and Electrician will help you avoid issues and choose which work needs undertaking and chosing future tradesmen

Andrew

14:06 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 03/08/2020 - 13:47
hard wired alarms are not mandatory in single lets but an advisory - seems someone was desparate for work and played on finding niave landlords. share this with your landlord friends to help educate them

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