People often assume that electrical safety is not important to landlords. The government has made EICR’s compulsory from April 2021. The government have produced a guide for landlords, please refer to this – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector
Most electrical accidents in properties arise from the misuse of domestic appliances. They can also occur from electrical installations.
Other problems are:
- Firstly, the electrical installation equipment deteriorating over a period
- Damage to switches, sockets and other equipment
- Misuse of the installation and equipment
- Poor or lack of maintenance of the installation of the equipment
Landlords will now have a legal duty from the end of this year to complete EICR tests every five years.
The recent Human Habitation Bill provided an update to the original act. Please refer to our previous article on this – https://harringtonslettings.co.uk/the-human-habitation-act-2018-a-guide-for-landlords/
The property also needs to be in a fit state for people to live in during the tenancy. Section 11 also puts an obligation on landlords to ensure the water, gas and electricity supplies are fit for sanitation.
Landlords have to carry out a test on their electrical equipment called a PAT test. With a PAT test there is no specific time given to complete. It depends on the use of the actual product. This can be a year for residential. It could be two years for students. Therefore, it is down to the electrician.
Landlords must adhere to regulations. They must have an electrician carry out the work and test. However, landlords must carry out any recommended works.
After a periodic inspection, an EICR report will contain details of the inspection and testing undertaken. Any remedial action that will need to take place. There are three areas within a report. In addition, this outlines the works that need to be completed. Whether urgent or not.
The categories are:
Type 1 – dangerous. This means that the electrician would need to immediately close the electrical facilities. They would have to carry out the repairs on site. The property would need immediate attention.
Type 2 – not dangerous but require work. They are not dangerous at the present time. However, they require work. This must be done to ensure that they are safe.
Type 3 – advisory. The work is advisory and is not essential. This work will benefit the property in future.
This is another cost that landlords are going to have to deal with in future. Therefore, EICR tests will be completed every five years.
Do you provide electrical appliances? If so, you are responsible to have these tested. Known as a PAT test. Appliances could be anything as a kettle, iron, washing machine, fridge freezer etc. The appliance will usually have a CE mark on it.
The appliances are as follows:
- Firstly, that there are no cuts in the cable. That there are no abrasions in the cable.
- Secondly, there are no exposed wires in the cord.
- Thirdly, he plug casing is not cracked, and the pins are not bent.
- No signs of overheating or burning.
- There is no overheating or burning of a socket or plug.
- There are no loose parts or screws.
- Finally, no part of the appliance is damaged or missing.
The PAT test will identify the most dangerous defects. These are only for electrical appliances. We would always recommend a PAT test. An electrician will need to carry this out.
It would be sensible for landlords to carry out both reports now rather than later. Following on, as we have said we believe the cost will increase in future.