AN IMPORTANT CHANGE TO THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR
We wanted to make you aware of increased regulation in the Private Rented Sector, and the introduction of ‘The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
The regulations will apply in the following scenarios;
- To all properties where new tenancies have been created since 1st July 2020
- To all properties from (irrespective of when tenancies started) from 1st April 2021
The regulations are essentially going to widen to ‘all rented properties’ the need to have had an Electrical Installation Condition Report conducted at intervals not exceeding 5 years. The landlord will also have obligations to follow up on further investigation and remedial work within 28 days, to ensure that electrical safety standards are met (ideally this will see the end of ‘unsatisfactory’ systems being left for a period of time without improvement). The requirements for a landlord are set out in Part 2 of the regulations.
If a landlord does not comply with these regulations, they may fall foul to enforcement action by the Local Authority, who can serve notices upon them to undertake the works. If works do not occur then the Local Authority may arrange for works to be completed and then recover the costs from the landlord for doing so. The Local Authority may also impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 when they are satisfied (beyond reasonable doubt) that a landlord has breached a duty under regulation 3 (this is specified in Part 5 of the regulations).
In addition to becoming more informed on these regulation requirements, now would be a good time to ensure that you have a good relationship with a qualified electrician, or contact details for multiple qualified electricians, so that you are in a position to be able to respond appropriately and within the time-frame requirements of the regulations.
Some key rules to remember are:
- The test can only be valid for a maximum of 5 years, but can be for less if specified by the electrician/electrical contractor on the test certification. Therefore you need to ensure that your Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is thoroughly checked so that you know what period they are valid for. (see Regulation 3 (2) (a & b)
- Once the test inspection is undertaken, and the EICR is complete, the landlord must obtain a copy of the report asap and issue further copies to the tenants within 28 days of the inspection and test. The landlord then needs to retain the report so that copies can be given to the Local Authority within 7 days (if requested), but also to be given to any new tenant or subsequent contractor looking to undertake an EICR at the property. (See Reg 3 (3) (a to e)
- If the EICR identifies remedial works, or further investigations required, the landlord is obligated to ensure these are carried out by a qualified person within 28 days of the report inspection and testing date (or sooner if specified within the report). (See Reg 3 (4) (a & b)
- Once further investigation and/or remedial works have taken place the landlord must then obtain written confirmation, together with the report, and supply copies of this to the tenants within 28 days of the further investigation/remedial work date. It then says that reports and copies need to be given to the Local Authority within 28 days. The landlord then needs to retain the report so that copies can be given to any new tenant or subsequent contractor looking to undertake an EICR at the property. (See Reg 3 (5) (a to c).
It is hoped that this email is informative for you, and of benefit to assist in your knowledge of current regulations and requirements around Electrical Safety.