From 1st July 2020, the Government has proposed to enforce compulsory five-year electrical safety checks in the private rented sector (it may be required to be less than every five years if the certificate states that is required).
The draft regulations, which are part of the Government’s commitment to drive up standards in the sector, outline that Landlords must ensure mandatory electrical inspections are carried out in rental homes by ‘qualified inspectors’.
But what counts as a qualified inspector? New guidance will be published, which will outline the minimum level of competence and qualifications needed in order to be classed as a ‘qualified inspector’ and therefore carry out the inspections.
The publication aims to make it clear who is accountable for what at each stage of the inspection process – for example, what is required and whose responsibility it is, without placing excessive cost and time burdens on landlords.
Alongside the new guidance, existing “competent person scheme operators” will be invited to set up an electrical inspection and testing scheme which inspectors and testers can choose to join.
Already got an existing EICR?
Properties with an existing electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not be required to replace it for five years from the date they were carried out.
For new and fully rewired properties, an Electrical Installation Certificate can be presented in place of an EICR, so long as the date of the next inspection stated on the certificate has not passed.
Safety Checks and Reports
Safety checks will be carried out every five years, to ensure that standards are still being met. After the safety check has been completed, a report is produced. Copies of the report will then have to be provided to prospective tenants on request, and given to new tenants before they move in.
The check-in report would also have to give the results of the inspection. Local councils have the right to request a copy of the report, which must be supplied within seven days from the request.
Any corrective work that is required must be completed within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.
Fines for non-compliance
If the landlord does not take on the required remedial works, the local authority can access the property to resolve the issue, then recover costs from the landlord.
Proven breaches of the regulations can result in the local housing authority imposing a financial penalty of up to £30,000.
David Cox, CEO of ARLA Propertymark, said: “We are supportive of this concept and believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords as well as ensuring improved safety standards for tenants”.
“Mandating electrical testing should have a limited impact on good professional landlords and agents in the market, many of whom already voluntarily undertake these inspections”.
As always, we stay up to date with new rules and regulations that affect landlords, ensuring that your property always remains compliant with laws. Additionally, we always welcome any questions about Landlord legislation if you are confused!