Myth-busting – Electrical Safety installations Act 2020

by Andrew Roberts

11:19 AM, 3rd August 2020
About 2 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

Seething Landlord

12:36 PM, 1st September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 01/09/2020 - 10:56
The local housing authority

Denise G

12:40 PM, 1st September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

I thought it was if asked to do so?

Seething Landlord

12:42 PM, 1st September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 01/09/2020 - 12:40That as well, but PLEASE read the regulations and guidance, don't rely on other people's interpretations and advice, it could prove vey costly.

Martin

12:44 PM, 1st September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 01/09/2020 - 12:42
I have asked the question of where to send the certs to my council (Croydon), no reply so far...

Seething Landlord

13:19 PM, 1st September 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin at 01/09/2020 - 12:44
Just to make it plain and simple (???) the footnote to Regulation 2 reads "(1)See the definition of “local housing authority” in section 123(6) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016" which states "(6)In this section “local housing authority” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Housing Act 1985" which in turn states:
"Local housing authorities.
In this Act “local housing authority” means a district council, a London borough council, the Common Council of the City of London [F1a Welsh county council or county borough council]or the Council of the Isles of Scilly."

I hope that is clear because I am losing the will to live.

Seriously, the failure of the local authority to tell you where to send the required documents will not be a defence if they subsequently decide to impose a penalty; the Regulations place the duty to comply fairly and squarely on the Landlord so my advice would be to send them with proof of posting and recorded delivery to the published postal address of the authority for the area in which the building is situated. Do not risk failing to comply with the specified time scales. If they lose the documents that is their fault, not yours but if you cannot prove that you have sent them you could be in deep trouble.

Paul Shears

9:16 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 03/08/2020 - 13:47
Let me say at the outset that the view that I am about to express is as painful to myself as to any reader.
Priority number one when you are dealing with an incompetent crook is to get rid of them and try to find an honest and competent tradesman.
Yes I know that, apart from anything else, I am not giving you a real solution here because you could find yourself going around this loop indefinitely, but nevertheless, that is what I do.
The only way that I know of being relatively sure that your proposed tradesman is competent & honest, is to actually have much of the knowledge yourself. That's the brutal reality of it.

Paul Shears

9:27 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by at 03/08/2020 - 14:46
Quite right I think. The conflict of interest problem should have been addressed from the outset before the law was introduced. It's quite simple. If you issue an EICR, you should not be allowed to do any required work except to rectify an immediate danger.

Paul Shears

9:57 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 04/08/2020 - 10:43
"HOW exactly do I find a trustworthy replacement when we next need one??"
Speaking with over 46 years of experience of being both a trained & qualified tradesman myself and of employing countless others, I have absolutely no idea beyond my own gut feel backed up by self education.
Not a very helpful answer I know but I would dearly love to hear a better one. Blindly following an official process which attempts to replace judgement, is killing the first world as far as I can see.

Paul Shears

10:02 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul landlord at 04/08/2020 - 00:59
"Electricians are anually audited (painful experience at high cost) to be registered. The bar is set high.
However every registered electrician is audited and accredited to do only certain things- domestic, industrial, commercial, installation, EICRs for each of these as well as third party certification of work."
It does not work. You are just swoping one problem for another as my life experience and my recent EICR report shows.

Paul Shears

10:07 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 04/08/2020 - 10:52
"The difficulty you have is distinguishing between the people who are b**********g you just to extract money from you and the honest people."
And then you have the people who are certificated but should never have been so.

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