Earlier this year, on 1st June 2020, the government released new guidelines for UK landlords concerning electrical safety tests. These new guidelines, ‘The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector,’ state that mandatory and regular electrical testing should be undertaken by the Landlord, or face fines up to £30,000 by your local housing authority.
This tests are of paramount importance and were introduced to protect both tenants and landlords:
For Tenants: to allow tenants safe enjoyment of their home and the reduced risk of electrical faults causing health and safety risks such as electric shocks or fires.
Landlords: to provide protection against significant damage to their property and neighbouring properties through fire damage, and avoidance of associated repair costs and escalated insurance fees. Of course, the priority for landlords is to also protect the safety of their tenants (and their belongings) who may be in the property when disaster strikes.
Heather Wheeler, Housing Minister has publicly commented:
‘Everyone deserves a safe place to live. While measures are already in place to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties we need to do more to protect tenants. That’s why we introduced powers to enable stronger electrical safety standards to be brought in along with tough penalties for those who don’t comply’
The new Electrical Safety Standards regulations explained:
The new regulations require landlords in the private rented sector to have electrical installations inspected in each property at least every 5 years. This is a guideline, but it is encouraged that these tests are completed more regularly, especially if there is history of fire damage within the property, or any major changes incur such as water damage or a period of high tenant turnover.
The changes apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020, and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. The purpose of this testing is to ensure the good condition and safety of electrical installations which include switches, sockets, protective bonding, lighting etc.
The Regulation Process for Landlords
- Landlords should find a reputable, qualified and competent local tradesman to complete an ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ (EICR).
- If a ‘satisfactory report’ is determined:
- The landlord should read and understand the report and any C3 codes issued. C3 codes refer to items where ‘improvement is recommended’ but do not pose significant or immediate risk to the property or safety of tenants. The landlord can decide when and how to make these suggested improvements.
- The landlord should distribute this ‘satisfactory’ documentation to the existing tenants within 28 days. This should also be provided to any new tenants before they move into the property, along with any other important compliance documents.
- The landlord should then retain a copy of the inspection report as evidence, noting down the date of the next required inspection.
- If an ‘unsatisfactory’ report is determined or the tradesperson comments that ‘further investigation’ is required:
- The landlord should commission any and all remedial work within 28 days and cover all costs.
- On completion of the works, the landlord should ask for written confirmation from the tradesperson that the remedial works have been implemented
- The landlord should distribute this ‘remedial’ documentation to the existing tenants within 28 days. This should also be provided to any new tenants before they move into the property, along with any other important compliance documents.
So, letting out your property is a great way to make some additional income, especially in today’s competitive and growing market. But often, the onboarding process and constantly changing compliance regulations for gas, smoke and fire, can make the process stressful – an ever growing and relentless to-do list and dates to remember!
This is where City Relay can help. We are proud to be London’s most trusted property management agency, offering an all-in-one service to our landlords including compliance testing and reporting. Find out more about our services and pricing or contact us now to find out how we can help you manage your property.