The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and applied to new tenancies granted on or after that date, from the 1st July 2020. For existing tenancies however, the regulations did not come into force then, but from the 1st of April next year.
With all the disruption caused during the Covid pandemic and the heavy work-load on landlords and agents involved, given the current high demand for renting, it’s likely there will be a mad rush for electrical testing and electrical remedial work, come the deadline next year. Hence the need for action now.
A Landlord Electrical Condition Report or Certificate will typically cost in the region of £100 to £230 for a flat, £150 to £300 plus for a house depending on the size and location, and that’s with everything in reasonable condition. It will normally take a qualified electrician between 2 and 3 hours to complete.
However, the older the installation the more likely it is that additional work may be required to bring the system up to standard. Only registered electricians can carry out these Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) and these people are likely to be very busy coming up to the deadline.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector require that landlords meet the following strict conditions, they must:
- ensure the national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
- ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
- obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
- supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
- supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
- supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
- supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
- retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, landlords are obliged to complete this work within 28 days or a shorter period if specified in the electrical engineer’s report.
Landlords must also forward to tenants and the local authority written confirmation of completion of any necessary remedial work by means of a completion report supplied by the electrician.
These electrical checks and the documentation are just another requirement for landlords and letting agents to follow when setting up a tenancy. It is important to ensure the correct documentation is supplied to tenants and that proof of service obtained, otherwise problems will ensure should there be a need to obtain possession of the property.
Here is a simple checklist for some of the documented items which landlords / agents should supply to tenants when setting up a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy:
- Electrical Safety Certificate
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Gas Safety Certificate
- Fire safety checks / risk assessment
- Legionella checks / risk assessment
- The current version of the government’s “How to Rent” Guide
- The Right-to-Rent checks with document copies
- Deposit Protection prescribed documentation
- A comprehensive inventory
- The tenancy agreement.
It is good practice to ensure that these documents are all attached to the letting agreement and signed for individually.