New Electrical Safety standards guide for 1st July

by Property 118

9:31 AM, 2nd June 2020
About a month ago

New Electrical Safety standards guide for 1st July

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New Electrical Safety standards guide for 1st July

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.

These guides on the regulations are for landlords, tenants in the Private Rental Sector. Published 1 June 2020 Click Here

The Regulations apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. Local authorities may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 on landlords who are in breach of their duties.

What do the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require?

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.

What about Houses in Multiple Occupation (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.

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.

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.

What about where tenancies ‘roll over’ into periodic tenancies? Will that count as a new tenancy?

Whether or not a ‘periodic’ tenancy is a new tenancy, as defined in Regulation 2, depends on the type of tenancy issued.

  • For ‘contractual periodic tenancies’ – where it is written in the original tenancy agreement that on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will become periodic – the periodic tenancy will be part of the same tenancy and no new tenancy will be created.
  • For ‘statutory periodic tenancies’ – where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy will be a new tenancy.

Properties let on statutory periodic tenancies where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021 will require an inspection and test at this point under the Regulations.



Comments

Ian Brand

10:39 AM, 2nd June 2020
About a month ago

For property where electrical inspections were carried out within the last five years, (i.e 2018) are these inspection still valid, or do new inspection need to be performed from July 2020?

Possession Friend

13:35 PM, 2nd June 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Brand at 02/06/2020 - 10:39
Still valid, ( although MHCLG did say they were publishing guidance on it in June.)

Rod

21:26 PM, 2nd June 2020
About a month ago

I had a flat checked cost - £500 had another done £500! Cheaper than £30,000 tho!

Possession Friend

21:51 PM, 2nd June 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Rod at 02/06/2020 - 21:26
Jez ! FIVE Undred Quid !!!
You won't be using him again !

Richard of York

10:30 AM, 6th June 2020
About a month ago

No issue with electrical safety certificates for our properties, but I do hope this regulation applies to all social housing as well. Also, we pay £75 for an electrical safety check and certificate......

Jireh Homes

11:35 AM, 6th June 2020
About a month ago

Need to check that the electrician carrying out and certifying the condition of the installation is suitably qualified, so beware those who quote a low fee. Typical prices in NE Scotland range £100 - £130 for a small property and may be higher for larger houses. VAT may or may not be charged. And like low cost MOTs, some C1 & C2 observations may not be real.

Possession Friend

22:32 PM, 6th June 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard of York at 06/06/2020 - 10:30
No it Doesn't ! I'm preparing an article on the whole history and rationale for it at the moment.
Short answer is the Govt said that the PRS needed concentrating on for two main reasons,
1) That PRS was in more disrepair than Social Housing ( refering to the Number / % of Cat 1 HHSRS hazards found upon sampling by the English Housing Survey, and
2) that in light of above, and the PRS housing more tenants than Social Housing.
There are flaws to MHCLG's reasoning that I'll reveal in my article ( when its ready ) - that basically shows ( more ) Govt bias against the PRS and in favour of Social Housing.

Paul Hawkins

11:49 AM, 10th June 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Quoted £200 per property in North East Essex, reduced to £150 as had two in the same area that need inspecting. This was based on 2 bed terraced properties. Will see what C1 and C2 are thrown up - as others have said, slightly wary of very cheap offers in case they recover their costs by bumping up the price of remedial work. This price seemed about midway in Essex between lowest and highest quoted.

Ridvan xhakaj

16:45 PM, 12th June 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Guys
hope you are all well

thanks for all the info above

am due for an electric inspection / cert on my hmo in east london
i will be posting an job add on my builder soon
though to ask the question if the standard Plastic consumer unit does need upgrading for a RCBO unit / Aluminium ?


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