The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that mandatory five-year electrical installation checks on private rented housing in England will be introduced in a phased approach. Whilst an implementation date has not yet been clarified, MHCLG has stated its intention to introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows, with letting agents and landlords being given at least six months to familiarise with the new legislation before it comes into force. A transitional period will apply for two years.
In year one, all new private tenancies will be affected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within scope. Properties that already have a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not need to replace it until five years have passed since it was issued.This is something we already recommend as landlords are responsible for the electrical safety on any properties that they let out. It is common for there to be minor issues when these inspections are undertaken and dealing with them avoids the potential for a serious issue in the future. Recent figures show that almost 3,000 accidental fires a year were caused in England by electrical distribution (wiring, cabling and plugs) in 2015/16, leading to 379 injuries or fatalities that could have been avoided. We can arrange an EICR on your behalf – the cost will depend on the size of the property and the number of consumer units but starts from £204 inc VAT for a check that lasts 5 years – so overall this works out cheaper than your annual Gas Safety Check.