Electrical Safety Regulations
New Electrical Safety Regulations for Private Rented Homes
New regulations introduced will require landlords of privately rented properties to carry out inspections on fixed electrical installations in their properties. The regulations will apply to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020. All existing tenancies must be inspected and covered by the regulations from 1 April 2021.
(The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020).
What is an EICR?
EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. An EICR involves the inspection and testing of all fixed electrical installations within the home.
The assessment will help identify any faults or defects which could require improvement and ensure electrical safety standards are being met and all fixed installations are maintained in a safe condition.
This inspection is also important in protecting the tenant’s health and safety.
We recommend that an EICR be carried out by an experienced qualified electrician or approved contractor.
What will the EICR report tell me?
Once an EICR is completed, the registered contractor will provide you with a certificate outlining the overall condition of the electrical installation. Generally, an EICR will provide codings against the condition of the installation. The classification codes are as follows:
Code C1 - This code indicates that danger exists, requiring immediate remedial action. The persons using the installation are at immediate risk.
Code C2 - This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be dangerous at the time of the inspection, it could become a real and immediate danger if a fault or other foreseeable event was to occur in the installation or connected equipment.
Code C3 - This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be a source of immediate or potential danger, improvement would contribute to a significant enhancement of the safety of the electrical installation.
Code FI – Further Investigation required.
Duties of private landlords following an electrical installation inspection.
Following the inspection and testing the landlord is required to;
- Obtain a copy of the written report from the person conducting the inspection, which includes the results and the required date for the next inspection.
- Supply a copy of this report to each existing tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection
- Supply a copy within seven days to the local housing authority, if they request a copy
- Retain a copy of the report until the next inspection, and give a copy to the person undertaking the next inspection.
For new tenancies, the landlord must:
- Provide a copy of the most recent report to a new tenant before the tenant occupies the property
- Provide a copy of the most recent report to any prospective new tenant who requests the report in writing, within 28 days of receiving such a request.
Remedying any faults identified in the report
Where the electrical safety report identifies a fault or potential fault the landlord must;
- Either investigate further or repair the fault, the landlord must ensure further investigations or repairs are completed by a qualified person within 28 days of the inspection, or within the timeframe set out in the report if the timescale is shorter.
- Following any further investigations or repairs, the landlord must ensure they receive written confirmation that these have been carried out and that either the electrical safety standards are met, or further work is required.
- This confirmation must be supplied to each existing tenant and to the local housing authority (if requested) within 28 days of the work being undertaken, along with the original report identifying further work is required.
- This process must be repeated until the electrical installation is found to be compliant.
How long is an EICR valid for?
An EICR is valid for 5 years, unless the most recent report specifies that an inspection/testing should be carried out at intervals less than 5 years.
Where the local authority have grounds to believe a private landlord is in breach of one or more of the duties under the regulation, the local authority has a duty to act.
- Where urgent works are not required, the local authority must serve a ‘remedial notice' on the landlord. This must be served within 21 days of the local authority deciding it has reasonable grounds to act.
- The landlord will have 28 days from the date of service of the notice to take the action outlined, or must make written representations within 21 days if they disagree with the notice.
- Once the landlord has made written representations, the remedial notice is suspended until the local authority responds – which must be within seven days. If the local authority confirms the notice, the suspension ceases, and the landlord has 21 days to comply with the requirements.
- If the tenants of the property refuse access to the landlord for these remedial works, the landlord will not be considered to have breached this duty purely because they have not brought legal proceedings to access the property.
- If the landlord does not undertake the remedial works, the local authority can access the property with the tenants' permission to remedy the issue. The local authority must serve notice to the landlord informing them of this action – to which the landlord can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. (Please refer to appeals section for more information)
- Local authorities can also recover costs reasonably incurred from the landlord.
- Where urgent remedial works are required and the landlord has not undertaken these, the local authority can arrange for the urgent remedial action to be undertaken. The local authority must inform the landlord within seven days of the works commencing.
- The landlord has a right to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber). Against the decision of the local housing authority to take action
- A private landlord on whom a demand for the recovery of costs has been served may also appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the demand.
Financial penalties for breaches of duties
Where a local housing authority is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that a private landlord has breached a duty under regulation 3 of (The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020) the authority may impose a financial penalty (or more than one penalty in the event of a continuing failure) in respect of the breach of up to £30,000.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. For more information please visit the legislation.gov.uk website.