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Guidance for Landlords – Amber Homes

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 

The government has recently made legislative changes, which introduce electrical safety standards for tenancies in the private rented sector.

What the regulations say:

Landlords in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) 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.

These regulations apply in England to – 

  • All new specified tenancies from 1st July 2020; and
  • All existing specified tenancies from 1st April 2021.

The rules do not apply to social housing, shared accommodation with a landlord or landlord’s family, long leases, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices as well as other accommodation relating to healthcare provision.

What ‘Report’ is required?

Typically, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used within the industry.

An EICR is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and 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.

Who can undertake the Electrical Inspection?

Any Electrical Inspector employed to undertake the electrical inspection and testing within your property must have: 

  • Adequate insurance. This should include at least £2 million public liability insurance and £250,000 professional indemnity insurance.
  • A qualification covering the current version of the wiring regulations (BS 7671).
  • A qualification covering the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.
  • At least two years’ experience in carrying out periodic inspection and testing.

Following the inspection and testing, a private Landlord must –  

  1. 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;
  2. Supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test;
  3. 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;
  4. 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; and
  5. supply a copy of the most recent report to -
    1. any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises; and
    2. any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that prospective tenant.

Action needed in the event of an Unsatisfactory Report –  

Where an Electrical Installation Safety Report identifies urgent remedial work or requires Further Investigation, the private landlord must ensure that this required work is carried out by a qualified and competent person within:

  1. 28 days; or
  2. The period specified in the report if less than 28 days, starting with the date of the inspection and testing.

The Landlord must then –

  1. Obtain written confirmation from a qualified and competent person that the further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met; or further investigative or remedial work is required;
  2. Supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report which required the further investigative or remedial work to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work and also to the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work.

Enforcement

Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new Regulations; where a Local Authority is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that a Landlord has breached the rules, the local authority may impose financial penalties not exceeding £30,000.