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

UKPN

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

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 03/08/2020 - 13:47
A consumer unit does not comply with BS EN 61439-3 (Fire retardant). This is a C3, Improvement Recommended. So, It wasn't needed. While a good topic, lots of contradictions. 1= An electrician does not have to be a member of a trade body. 2= It does not specify that it has to be a EICR, just a "report". I am going to take a special interest in this, I was speaking to a guy this week who had been told he needed a new "cert" every new tenant. Rediculous, what if there was a new tenant every month!!!

Martin

14:20 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

I've just had one done by an electrician I've used for years and trust totally, however what I have realised by drilling down into his report that there are several aspects that he personally doesn't like and recommends changing that wouldn't actually fail the report. I stress he is a decent trustworthy guy, but like so many contractors he just seems to think he is billing a company as opposed to costing me money personally.
The first one I let him have free rein and he came in at £350 for a medium size 4 bed, take away the bits that he didn't actually really need to do and it will be about £220.
It was a good exercise though as I now have a much better understanding of the process and of course of his thought process.
So actually folks these sparkies might not being trying to rip you off they might be trying to help, just not realising across multiple properties it costs a bloody fortune.

Denise G

14:23 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Andrew at 03/08/2020 - 14:06We didn't fall for the smoke alarms bit - and we also questioned the fuse box thing, but we were persuaded, regarding the box that is in the property near to its only exit, that we should have it changed.
They will be informed now that they have assumed we are naive landlords for the last time.
Our tenant who has been told his home failed it's electrical safety inspection , even after we'd challenged that in the other 2 inspection reports they issued, was reassured when we explained that as his fuse box isn't by the exit it is not unsafe.
My main question now though is: should those 2 reports ever have been issued as Unsatisfactory, or should we have insisted right back then, that with only C2s and C3s, they should have immediately been re-issued as Satisfactory with recommendations?
This is a relevant point whenever we receive notification that the other 2 reports are available, as we already have had the 'heads up' that both will be issued as Unsatisfactory

pip_pill

14:46 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Yet another licence to print invoices for electrical contractors, inspection needs to be policed! this is a conflict of interest for the electricians in the electrical trade - inspections should be done by an "independent party" otherwise the inspection is subjective, similar to gas inspections done by gas installers - funny how the gas boiler always has to much CO2 emission from it and requires a complete new system @ 5k cost oh well at least a fuse box change is only 1K!

Andrew

14:49 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by UKPN at 03/08/2020 - 14:14
Councils on licenced properties insist on the person being qualified and approved (ie passed exam on EICR - Electrical Condition Report) - I know landlords who have been rejected a licence as the elctricial report wasnt from a qualified person

Andrew

14:52 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 03/08/2020 - 14:46
Great point about independance - there are good contractors - Bill is one of those and felt it important to share this video with you to help everyone know the basics to look for and not get ripped off

Jamie Finch

15:55 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Andrew at 03/08/2020 - 13:39
Great thanks Andrew, I look forward to hearing

Jamie

Beaver

15:58 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Trapped Landlord at 03/08/2020 - 13:58
My EICR is coming up for renewal as I last had it done about five years ago.

The last time I had it done I employed somebody who charged me a lot of money and told me I had to rewire. And told me a lot of other things I had to do.

I got a second electrician in and he recommended hard wiring the main smoke/heat alarms, which I did as that seemed reasonable. But he pointed out a whole heap of things on the original report and told me that they weren't in the regulations.

So I think there is a serious risk of "qualified testers" doing this report simply as a means of drumming up cash and I think you need to be prepared to get a second opinion.

Andrew

16:46 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 03/08/2020 - 15:58
If you read through the report above or watch the video you will find only a C1 is mandatory there and then.

A C2 requires attention to pass the report - you should be able to check if something is graded a C2 correctly by looking up the Regulations

C3 is an advisory - bit like your tyres are low but not illegal on your MOT so doesnt need to be done - but may in future - keep an eye on that item

Hope thats useful analysis

Beaver

16:49 PM, 3rd August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Andrew at 03/08/2020 - 16:46
I watched it and got the idea thanks. Plastic fuseboard/RCD unit rather than metal may not matter, depending upon where it is situated.

My point was that the last time I had an EICR done a qualified electrician told me that I had to do all sorts of things that the regulations did not require, and I was suspicious of him; so I got another qualified electrician in and he pointed out all the things that the first qualified electrician had told me I had to do that were not required by the regulations.

Both electricians were qualified.

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