1st April is the day when all landlords in England must have electrical installations in private rented homes inspected and tested as part of a drive to improve safety and living standards for private tenants.

Landlords are expected to arrange an inspection and electrical safety certificate for all private rented properties. Work must be carried out by an accredited and qualified electrician who will produce an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR). 

Failed EICRs have 28 days (or less if stated by the electrician) to resolve any issues and obtain a satisfactory report. There is no upper spending limit for landlords when it comes to remedial works.

The new electrical testing requirements for landlords mean that you must test your property every five years. Over time, electrical installations will deteriorate, and this becomes a potential risk if they are not regularly checked. 

According to the latest government fire statistics, more than 12,500 domestic fires and 750 fatal accidents are registered each year. 

Electrical faults cause almost half of the domestic fires (over 20,000 a year). Approximately 70 people are killed, and 350,000 are seriously injured, due to electrical accidents at home.

The statistics also show people renting homes are more likely to die or suffer injuries in electrical related fires than anyone else.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020  was bought about to rectify this.

As a landlord, you will need to make sure you are complying with these rules, if you don’t you could face a fine of up to £30,000. If the local authority requests a copy of the EICR in writing, a landlord must supply one within seven days.

The EICR covers:

  • Fuse board or consumer unit.
  • Switches, sockets, light fittings and other fittings.
  • Installation polarity checks.
  • Testing protective devices to ensure they work properly.

The EICR details any work needed to get a property to the required standard, to identify non-compliant electrical installations, and to check for any part of the electrics in a home which present a risk of high temperatures or electric shocks.

The cost of getting your certificate depends on a number of factors, including the size of your home and how many appliances you have. Tenants are responsible for making sure their own appliances are safe.

You might find it difficult during the pandemic to carry out your safety checks right now, and the government recognises this. For example, if your tenant has been advised to isolate in their household, you are inspection and test may need to be postponed. If this is the case, you will need to show you’ve taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, even if you are not yet able to complete the inspection, test or any remedial works.

If you have any questions get in touch with our team at Acecrest 020 8554 9999, who can guide you through the process.

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