Under recently proposed Government legislation, which looks set to be approved, landlords in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) must arrange for an electrical safety assessment to be carried out by a qualified and competent inspector. Failure to comply with the new laws could leave landlords facing hefty fines.
The new legislation, formally called The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, is due to be rolled out over the next two years. Inspections will be compulsory for all new and renewed tenancies from 1st July 2020 and for existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.
As a result of the legislation, every fixed electrical installation must be assessed every five years and should meet the 18th Edition of Wiring Regulations. The qualified person who carries out the inspection must also produce an electrical installation condition report (EICR) for the landlord, which presents the inspection’s findings and which must be given to any existing tenants within 28 days. The landlord should keep a copy for their records until the next inspection. If a new tenant moves into the property, they must be supplied with a copy of the most recent report prior to moving in. Furthermore, should the local housing authority request a copy, this must be supplied within seven days; if a prospective tenant makes the request, it must be provided within 28 days.
If a landlord fails to organise for the inspections to take place and cannot provide a written report to the local housing authority when asked, they will be liable to pay fines of up to £30,000.
ARLA have for the most part been supportive of the proposals. Chief executive, David Cox stated “It will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants.” He stressed that landlords who act professionally will hardly be affected by the legislation and that many already carry out effective testing voluntarily. ARLA were initially concerned that there would be insufficient engineers to carry out the testing, but assurances have been made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that this will not be an issue.
Although they do not believe it is the intention of the bill, the RLA has highlighted the fact that in its current form, the legislation invalidates any existing non-mandatory EICRs that do not meet the requirements of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. These Regulations were only introduced in 2019, rendering the majority of EICRs invalid. It is hoped that when the legislation’s wording is finalised, it will allow for existing EICRs to remain valid.
If the competent inspector discovers an issue with your property, you need to ensure that they carry out the work, or further investigations, within 28 days. This timeframe may need to be reduced if that is the recommendation of the report. Once the remedial work has been carried out, a new written report is necessary which declares that the property now meets the legislation’s requirements and can be deemed safe. This report must then be submitted to the local authority.
How Mistoria Can Help
If you would like some more information about obtaining an EIRC and your duties as a landlord, please feel free to get in touch with the team at Bolton letting agents, Mistoria, on 0800 500 3015. We have a dedicated maintenance team who will be able to ensure your property is compliant with any legislation the Government demands.
We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.