New electrical safety regulations will come into play in England from 1st July 2020. These mandatory regulations will apply to any new tenancies created on or after this date, and to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. Full details of the regulations can be found on this government site.
To put it simply, your rental properties must be inspected and tested by a ‘qualified and competent’ person at least once every five years. Copies of this Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) must also be provided to tenants, incoming new tenants, any person that carries out the next inspection and even, if requested, the Local Authority. Non-compliance will make you subject to penalties.
The First EICR Deadline is 1st July 2020
Any new tenancy from 1st July 2020 will require a satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report before it can begin. The checks carried out in the report will ensure that all electrical installations in the property, such as light fixtures and electrical sockets, are safe before the tenant moves in. A passed EICR will remain valid for five years, after which a new report will need to be carried out.
Tenants must receive a copy of the report within 28 days of the inspection. Copies should also be retained so that they can supplied to local authorities, if requested, as well as for the use of the next assessor. Copies of the most recent report must also be supplied to any prospective tenant within 28 days, if requested in writing.
So What are the Penalties for Not Having an EICR?
Local authorities will be mandated with enforcing the new rules, as specified under the Housing Act 2004. Therefore from 1st July, any landlords who have not conducted an EICR and any relevant remedial work before a new tenancy begins will face a fine of anywhere up to £30,000.
What If My Property Fails the EICR Checks?
If the report requires remedial action for the property to be deemed safe, then all repairs must be carried by a qualified person within 28 days, unless otherwise specified by report to perform works sooner.
Written confirmation must be provided by the qualified person confirming, either that the relevant safety standards have been met, or that further works are required. A copy of this this confirmation must then be supplied to each tenant within 28 days of the work being carried out. It must also be provided, along with a copy of the original report, to the local housing authority within 28 days of the work.
The Second EICR Deadline is 1st April 2021
From 1st April 2021, all tenancies in England will require an EICR. This means that all rented properties will need to have an EICR done before this date, and a copy of the report will need to be supplied to tenants within 28 days. As noted above, if any work is required by the report to bring the property into a safe condition, then that work must be carried out.