Myth-busting – Electrical Safety installations Act 2020

by Andrew Roberts

11:19 AM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 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

N H

13:20 PM, 21st September 2020
About a month ago

Thank you Andrew and Bill, what a great article and thread to help landlords understanding this subject.
I had a EICR carried out recently for a new build 10 years old flat that I rented out. The electrician came and said because the plastic consumer unit only has 1 RCD (for sockets) so it needed a new metal unit. Also the smoke and heat alarms are just over 10 years old so need replacing. I asked him to do only necessary works to past the test he then suggested to add on a 2nd RCD instead of new unit and leave the alarms for now. I agreed but when he tried to add on 2nd RCD it tripped the heating and lights circuit so he gave up and said he will issue a 3 year satisfactory EICR with lots of C3 notes but I received a 5 year satisfactory EICR with no notes apart from stated sampling tested 33% only.
My questions are
1. will council accept a satisfactory EICR stated only 33% was tested?
2. is it a legal requirement to have smoke/heat alarms within 10 years old?
3. is it a legal requirement to have 2 RCDs on fuse board? It seems strange to me that everything was working fine before the electrician tried to add on a 2nd RCD, was it likely to be the fault of the electrician’s workman ship/equipment to cause it tripped?
Any commends are appreciated. thanks

Badger

15:24 PM, 21st September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by N H at 21/09/2020 - 13:20
I can't speak to the majority of your note, but I'd have thought you would want to get the smoke alarms sorted at the least.

Sure, they are still working fine, but for how long, and do you fancy explaining to the beak why they are out of date if the unthinkable happens?

Jireh Homes

20:07 PM, 21st September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by N H at 21/09/2020 - 13:20
Hi NH - in response to your query on fire alarms, typically the recommended "maximum life" is 10 years, being the life of the sensor and more recently the lithium long life battery. Those manufactured by the quality manufacturers have an "expire" date stamped on the housing. Typical that these are checked during an EICR but unsure if "out of date" whether classified C2 or C3.

Jireh Homes

20:14 PM, 21st September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by N H at 21/09/2020 - 13:20
Hi NH - in response to query on RCDs, my understanding is no requirement for RCD on socket, cooker and lighting circuits, although may be requirement on electric shower circuit. Qualified electricians should be able to confirm.

Beaver

15:37 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by N H at 21/09/2020 - 13:20
On "Thank you Andrew and Bill, what a great article and thread to help landlords understanding this subject." I agree, this article and thread were both really helpful. For the benefit of anybody else watching it:

I last had an EICR done more than 5 years ago, so knew I would have to renew next spring. The EICR said:

1. No RCD to any lighting circuits, metal fittings and switches fitted. C2

2. No RCDs provided for fault protection - includes RCBOs (411.4.204; 411.5.2; 531.2) C2

3. No additional protection by RCD for cables concealed in walls at a depth of less than 50mm (522.6.202; 522.6.203). C2

The report said that the condition of the rest of the electrical installation was satisfactory but that in order to fix the above faults a new consumer unit would have to be fitted and it should be done within 28 days. So that was completed today and the invoice for that said:

"Supply and fit; new 12-way 18th Edition consumer unit with dual RCD protection". ....total [inc. VAT] £534.00

Seething Landlord

15:56 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 22/09/2020 - 15:37
Don't forget to send the required documents to the LHA - see The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, regulation 3 (5) (c)

Beaver

15:58 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 22/09/2020 - 15:56My agents said they were going to do that although I've emailed the EICR and proof of completed works [the invoice for the completed works] separately to the local authority to be on the safe side.

The local authority website didn't have an obvious area for me to submit anything so I sent them to the only email address available for landlords.

Bill Stiles

18:28 PM, 22nd September 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by N H at 21/09/2020 - 13:20
to reply to your questions
If the report is satisfactory it is the contractors responsibility for how much sampling he has done .The council just want a satisfactory report
I would check with your landlords insurance about the smoke alarms but they only have a ten year life span so I would change them asap
There is probably a latent fault on those circuits which has only come to light because the RCD was fitted ,it might have been there all the time .I would recommend the contractor tries to identify the problem circuit but if you read the thread before it will explain that you don't need to change a fuse board because it is plastic

I hope this has been helpful

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