These Regulations impose duties on private landlords of residential premises in England in respect of electrical safety standards. The duties do not apply to landlords of social housing. The Regulations require local housing authorities to enforce the duties, and include a power to arrange remedial action.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector(England)
Coming into force 1st July 2020
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector(England) Regulations 2020, have now been passed in UK parliament and are coming into force. These will be applied from 1st July 2020.
(3) These Regulations apply in England only to—
All electrical installations become damaged and worn through wear and tear in time which is why they should be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’. The condition of the electrics are checked against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations: BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations) by an approved electrical contractor. Once the inspection is completed the customer will be issued with an electronic Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
The inspection and testing should be carried out at appropriate intervals in order to determine what, if anything, needs to be done to maintain the installation in a safe and serviceable condition. The results of the inspection and testing need to be clearly detailed in a report. Any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and non-compliance with the requirements of the current edition of BS 7671 that may rise to danger, should be recorded and appropriately classified for remedial action.
It should be borne in mind that, as stated in the introduction to BS 7671, existing installations that have been constructed in accordance with earlier editions of the Standard may not comply with the current edition in every respect, but this does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.
An electrical installation condition report is, as its title indicates, a report and not a certificate. It provides an assessment of the in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of the edition of BS 7671 current at the time of the inspection, irrespective of the age of the installation.
The five main aims of an electrical installation condition report are:
Electrical testing of an existing installation, which was formerly known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) has been changed to Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). An EICR is a detailed electrical inspection of a property’s electrical installation where an in-depth report detailing any necessary remedial work is produced. The inspection includes the below checks:
On the day of the visit the electrical engineer will require
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) details any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliance with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger. If anything dangerous or potentially dangerous is found, the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared to be ‘unsatisfactory’, meaning that remedial action is required without delay to remove the risks to those in the premises.
Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe.
An EICR reports on the condition of an existing installation. Completion certificates are issued for work completed by a contractor. It is a declaration that new installations, alterations and additions are safe to use at the time it was put into service. These are issued on Electrical Installation Certificates(EIC) or Minor Works Certificates. These certificates are not an EICR. Many landlords make the error of thinking they have a certificate that constitutes an EICR. An EICR needs to be done on a property every five years if the property is let to a tenant. If the tenant vacates the property, that has not had an EICR, then an EICR will need to be done before the new tenancy begins. This law comes into effect from 1st July 2020.
A periodic electrical inspection checks the ‘fixed’ installation, for instance the wiring, switches and earth bonding, whereas a PAT test checks electrical appliances, for instance fridges, washing machines, kettles, toasters, fans, etc.
A periodic inspection and test(EICR) should be considered under the following circumstances.
Taken from IET Guidance Note 3 Inspection and Testing
Visual electrical inspections are supplementary to a full Electrical Installation Condition Report. Visual electrical inspections cannot be treated as a replacement for an EICR. These general checks are designed to provide an appropriate home safety framework under most circumstances. However, if your tenants are vulnerable, elderly or have a disability, special consideration should be given to determine whether additional checks may be required.
New legislation came into force in April 2020. It is now a legal requirement. Landlords have a responsibility to make sure their rented dwellings are safe for occupation. Many property owners are bound by legal obligations to their staff, customers or tenants which can be met by an EICR inspection. Law can enforce up to a £30,000 penalty to a landlord.
Tenants in any residential accommodation are bound by The Landlords and Tenants Act (1985) which requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe at the start of any tenancy and maintained in a safe condition throughout. An EICR offers a simple and cost effective method which landlords can use to comply with the act.
The new legislation that comes into force from April 2020 can be found here.
Regulation 3(1) requires a private landlord to ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy, and that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.
Duties of private landlords in relation to electrical installations
3.—(1) A private landlord (e) who grants or intends to grant a specified tenancy must—
(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b) “at regular intervals” means—
Homeowners ConsiderationsThere are no legal requirements for homeowners to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report although it is a sensible practise to adopt in order to check the safety of your electrics and help prevent any avoidable accidents from occurring. Homeowners should have their home electrically inspected every 5 years.
There are various laws which require business owners to take suitable measures to prevent accidents. For example, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. At the same time, The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require precautions to be taken against the risk of death or personal injury from electricity used as part of work activities. The Health and Safety Executive regularly prosecutes businesses which fail to protect employees from electrical injuries at work.
Laws to consider:
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985Landlords, or agents acting on their behalf, are responsible for tenants’ electrical safety throughout their tenure. This is why it is important for all properties to be checked to ensure that all appliances are working correctly and safe to use. It is a criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of £30,000 and six months imprisonment if a landlord fails to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
For tenanted properties a report on domestic properties is required to be undertaken every 5 years or at every tenancy change, whichever comes first. The EICR is essential to ensure the electrical safety of your property and of your tenants.
Industry guidance recommends this should not exceed ten years for an owner-occupied home.
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at lease every 5 years for a business.
It is recommend that public pools are periodically inspected every year.
Part P forms part of the Building Regulations ensuring consistent standards in electrical work. The principle of the Building Regulations is to ensure that consistent standards are applied to the construction of buildings including their structure, sound insulation, fire safety, drainage, ventilation and electrical safety. The Part P requirement is that electrical installations must be safe! Part P of the Building Regulations applies to fixed electrical installations in dwellings (including gardens and shared amenities in blocks of flats, and any building that shares its electricity supply with a dwelling). Many of the typical jobs undertaken by electrical contractors are affected by Part P. Part P can be downloaded here.
You should have your electrical installation inspected and tested by a person who has the competence to do so, such as an approved contractor from one of the main accreditation bodies, including NICIEC.
Being an Approved Contractor and Domestic Installer registered by NICEIC we are assessed on a regular basis to ensure that we are competent and capable of meeting the relevant technical and safety standards, codes of practice and rules of the schemes we are registered to. We are also authorised to self-certify our work to the Local Building Control Body, which saves landlords and agents both time and money when undertaking work that requires notification under the Building Regulations. We are compliant with NICEIC’s Platinum Promise which means that if you are not happy with the work that is done by us and NICEIC agree that it is deficient the scheme will help to put it right.
We have a wide experience working with estate agents and private landlords in the South East and Thanet Area and have a deep understanding of their rental and property management needs.
We provide a full in-depth inspection to ensure all electrical equipment is installed and safe to use, and provide a comprehensive report detailing any remedial work that is required or recommended. We also provide a no-obligation quotation for the required works thus saving you time and resources in looking further to get a fault fixed.