DO YOU REQUIRE AN ELECTRICAL REPORT?
Landlords are potentially exposing themselves to significant financial risks. By not carrying out an electrical safety report they run the risk of fines and invalidated insurance. We accept it is not yet required by Law. However, we understand from the Government that this will be included in the next Housing Bill in 2019.
What most landlords don’t realise is that they have a responsibility to ensure that the electricity in their properties is safe in any event. Landlords need to ensure all electrical installations in the property are in a safe condition before the tenancy. They must then stay that way throughout the duration of the tenancy. Any appliances provided to tenants must be safe. This includes cookers, kettles and toasters. An Electrical condition report should be carried out every five years by a qualified electrician. It is not yet a legal requirement, but it is important that you take your responsibilities seriously.
The Government has confirmed an extension to mandatory licencing that comes in from the 1st October 2018. This applies to all houses in multiple occupancy as defined in the Housing Act 2014. This means that some electrical obligations are now the responsibility of the landlord. Each local authority will have their own licencing specifications. However, there is now regulation for the whole of the country. Stating that if you fall within this bracket you have an electrical report carried out.
The Ministry of Housing Communities have announced a new ruling on EICRs. They along with the Local Government have made it mandatory to complete electrical installation checks every five years. The new rules will roll out in stages throughout the UK. Please read our previous article on Mandatory EICR’s and Pat Testing.
They are yet to clarify when it will become law. The intention is for it to pass as soon as parliament allows. Letting agents and landlords will have at least six months to put in writing the legislation before it comes into force.
It looks as though a transitional period will apply for two years. In year one, all new private tenancies will be affected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within the scope.
Properties that have a valid EICR will not need to replace it until the five years have passed.
Agents must ensure that inspectors hired to issue EICRs hold the current qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.
This is going to impact landlords almost immediately. It will be important in future that landlords are aware of their liabilities. It would be advisable to carry out the electrical reports in advance. We suspect that prices will go up dramatically over the next few months from electricians as they will see it as an opportunity. It is in the landlord’s interest to run timely EICRs and PAT tests.
Are you a landlord?
If you are a landlord, property owner or facilities manger, you are responsible for ensuring your properties are electrically safe. This covers any installations in the property that supply electricity, electrical fixtures and fittings and any appliance provided to you under the term of the tenancy or lease. These are often known as PAT tests. You also need to have an electrical condition installation report. Commonly known as an EICR. These can also be known as an electrical report, an electrical test certificate, electrical safety certificate etc. This must meet legal requirements. For a rental property as a minimum electrical safety inspection should be carried out with intervals of no more than 5 years from the date of the previous inspection. A copy of the most recent report must be provided to all tenants and acknowledged. ‘
There are other requirements that landlords aren’t aware of. These are as follows;
- Supply a copy of the report to the tenant within 28 days of inspection and test.
- Supply a copy of the report to the new tenant occupying the premises.
- The local authority also require a copy of the report within 7 days of sending a request.
- Obtain a copy of the report to give to an inspector upon the next inspection and test.
- Where the report remedial work or further investigation work is necessary you must complete this within 28 days or a shorter period if necessary within your report. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS IT EXTREMELY CRITCAL THAT THIS WORK IS DONE WITHIN THAT TIME PERIOD.
- Supply written confirmation of completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and/or a new EICR within 28 days.
The regulations apply in all cases where a private tenant has a right to occupy the property as their only or main residence and pays rent. These include all assured-shorthold tenancies and licenses to occupy.
What about houses in multiple occupation? Commonly known as HMO’s?
Houses in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one household but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. If a HMO is a tenants only or main residence and they pay rent then these regulations apply to the HMO.
The management of housing in multiple occupation England regulations 2006 previously but specific to landlords arounds electrical safety. This requirement has now been repealed and HMO’s are now covered by the new electrical safety regulations. HMO’s with five or more tenants are licensable. The housing Act 2004 has been amended by these regulations to require mandatory conditions in HMO licenses ensuring every electrical installation in the HMO is properly working and safe to use.
Who can carry out the inspection?
These regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their property inspected and tested by a qualified person.
When commissioning the inspection, in order to establish if the person is qualified or competent the landlords can check the following;
- Check if the person is a member of competent person scheme
- Require the inspectors check list certifying their competence including their experience and they have adequate insurance
What standard should the electrical installation meet?
The standards that should be met are set out in the 18th additional of the wire regulations.
The regulations state that the landlord should ensure that electrical safety standards are met and investigation or remedial work is carried out if the report requires it.
The electrical installation should be safe for continual use. In practise if the report does not require investigation or remedial work the landlord is not required to carry out any further work. These are known as the current 18th addition. These have been published previously and additions were added on the 28th March 2022. These additions are updated on a regular basis.
What would be inspected and tested?
Fixed electrical parts to the property such as wiring, socket outlets, plug sockets, light fittings and consumer units will be inspected.
What will happen in the inspection?
The inspector will find out if;
- Any electrical installations are overloaded.
- Are there any potential shock risks or fire hazards.
- Is there a defective electrical work.
- Is there a lack of earthing or bonding, these are two ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations.
What will the report show?
Inspectors will use the following for clarification codes to indicate where a landlord must undertake remedial work;
Code 1 (C1)
Danger present – risk of injury. The inspector may make C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.
Code 2 (C2)
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 Code 1, or 2 are identified in on the report, then remedial work will be required. The report will state that the installation is unsatisfactory for continual use.
If an inspector discovers further investigation work is required (FI) the landlord must also ensure that this work is carried out. C3 classification does not indicate remedial work is required but only improvement is recommended. Landlords do not have to make improvement, but it would improve the safety of the installation.
It can be difficult as a landlord, often having to pay out money just to maintain they’re property. Then having to do electrical reports as well. However, it is so important to comply with the legal requirements. We would highly recommend that an EICR is carried out every five years to ensure that it is up to date and there are no further requirements. We have found in the past that landlords have not done this even though they know it is a legal requirement. This has then led to claims not paid out by insurance companies because they are non-compliant. It is so important to carry these reports out but please do not hesitate to contact us. The administration team are on (01273) 749169 to discuss.
Our sister company iInsure 365 have recently written an article on Useful tops for property care and maintenance follow the link to read more – https://iinsure365.co.uk/useful-tips-for-property-care-and-maintenance-part-1/