>

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020.

The new regulations will apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is “qualified and competent”, at least every five years. Landlords will have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and if requested to their local authority. Breaches of the regulations could result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.

Tenancies covered by the regulations

The new regulations will apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1 April 2021, including assured shorthold tenancies, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and licences to occupy. Exceptions to the regulations include social housing, lodgers, those on a long lease of seven years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.

To help you understand this legislation we caught up with Paul Collins of the NICEIC - the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry.

Inspections and inspectors

Inspections will test the ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the fuse box will be inspected. This includes permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors. The regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations. The inspector will check whether:

  • any electrical installations are overloaded
  • there are any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • there is any defective electrical work
  • there is a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations

Electrical installation report

The report - usually an Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR - will show whether the electrical installation is safe for continued use. If the report doesn’t require investigative or remedial work, the landlord won’t need to carry out any further work. Inspectors will use the following classification codes to indicate where a landlord must undertake remedial work:

  • Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. The electrical inspector may make any C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.
  • Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
  • 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 the report shows that remedial work or further investigation is required, landlords must complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified in the report.

Further resource on Electrical Safety can be found here -
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
 
http://www.niceic.com/specifiers/landlords
 
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/advice-for-landlords/

To speak with us about the legislation please call us on 01202 554470.