You may not be aware of the new guidelines relating to electrical safety and testing, however, if you are not keeping up to date with the latest requirements, you could be facing a fine of up to £30,000. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations came into force in the UK in 2020 and are applicable to any tenancy which has been created on or after 1st July 2020. New legal requirements may seem overwhelming if you are a new landlord or unfamiliar with how electrical testing works – but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
By simply familiarizing yourself with the necessary measures that need to be taken in order to keep your tenants happy and safe, you’ll be able to sleep easy knowing that you have adhered to all the relevant legal requirements and your property and tenants are absolutely safe. The reason for this kind of legislation is to ensure that the private rented property sector is providing the safe and secure housing that people deserve.
With this in mind, in this blog, we are going to explain the laws surrounding electrical testing and highlight what it is specifically that you need to know or specific action you need to be carrying out in keeping with legal requirements.
What is the landlord’s electrical safety certificate and why do I need it?
As previously mentioned, the latest electrical testing requirements for landlords indicate that you need to test your property every five years. So this essentially means that you need to get a certificate in and this comes as a written report – often this is usually an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The reason you need to have this official document and carry out an electrical test is that not only is it a legal requirement but also paramount to ensuring your tenant’s safety.
The document will show any checks which have been made by the inspector, and any improvements that you need to make as well. It’s also worth considering that any standard format for the EICR will vary from one company to the next. So as long as this gets included in the information and the check has been carried out by someone who meets the government requirements, then everything is going to be in keeping with safety standards.
What does an electrical safety certificate show?
The report itself is going to act as a physical record of any checks made on the property, and the relevant improvements you need to make. The goal of the inspection is to seek out the following potential risks:
- Any visible poor electrical work
- See if electrical circuits or equipment appear overloaded
- Ensure that earthing and bonding measures have been done properly
What should this safety check indicate to a landlord?
The electrics in the property need to be safe in order for them to continue being used. If a report doesn’t indicate that any investigative or remedial work needs to be carried out, the landlord will not be required to carry out any work.
An Inspector is going to use the following codes which act as classifications to show how a landlord needs to carry out any necessary repairs:
Code 1 (C1)
This means that danger is present and there is going to be a risk of injury to those inhabiting the property. The electrical inspector needs to make any C1 hazards safe before departing the property.
Code 2 (C2)
This indicates that there is potential danger present. Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation is needed without any further delay.
Code 3 (C3)
This means that improvement is advised. Further remedial work is not needed for the report to be classified as satisfactory.
Which parts of the house are included in an electrical safety inspection?
The inspection is going to be exploring the so-called, ‘fixed’ electrical appliances in the house. This would include the following:
- Plug sockets
- Light fittings
- Fuse boxes
- Permanently connected equipment
Am I legally required to get the electrical appliances checked?
Dissimilar to fixed installations, it is not the case that a landlord has to carry out a frequent check on their appliances such as fridges or microwaves. But that doesn’t indicate that landlords aren’t responsible. The law states that it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that appliances in a property are safe for general usage.
Although, if the appliances were supplied by tenants, the landlord isn’t actually responsible for them. Getting portable appliance testing (PAT) for any appliances in your rental property is certainly advised and an ideal way to make sure they are safe for general usage.
Who can carry out an electrical safety inspection for a landlord?
The only specific requirement is that the inspection is carried out by an electrician who is an approved contractor and who has also been accredited by NICEIC, STROMA or the ECA. An easy way to find official contractors that have the required credentials is to take a look at the Electrical Competent Person database.
What does a landlord need to do in order to prepare their property?
As a landlord, you have to make sure your inspection and testing are booked in, and your installations are carried out safely. With that in mind, there are a number of helpful things you can do in order to prep your property for inspection which is going to be really helpful for your electrician.
Prior to the test, ensure you are totally clear on where all the relevant installations are located in the house. This isn’t a requirement but will be really helpful nonetheless. These would include your fixed electrical parts such as wiring, socket outlets, light fittings, consumer unit and any equipment which is permanently contented such as showers and extractors.
What if a landlord refuses to adhere to electrical safety standards?
As previously mentioned, there are massive penalties for landlords who breach these electrical safety guidelines. Since these new regulations were put in place in June 2020, local authorities can fine landlords up to £30,000 if they don’t permit the rules.
As well as this, it is certainly in your best interest to ensure the property and it’s appliances are in good working order. If your tenants are safe and secure, and your property is no doubt in good condition and you are all going to feel happy!
Ian Hobbs Technical Services – We Provide Quality Electrical Testing and Technical Services
Are you a landlord wanting to make sure your property’s electrical safety is in check? In that case, the experts at Ian Hobbs Technical Services are here to help. We’re committed to carrying out all electrical installations to the highest standards and in line with all the latest regulations. Our NICEIC approved electricians offer comprehensive management of each project and you can rest assured that each member of our team has the capability and experience required. We understand that people lead busy lives, which is why we pride ourselves on carrying out all work quickly and efficiently, with minimal disruption.
Get in contact with our NICEIC registered electrical contractors today to talk through your requirements and get a free quote from our team. Whether you’re looking for emergency repairs or simply routine maintenance, we guarantee to provide cost-effective, long-lasting solutions to the highest professional standards.