The Electrical Safety Standards in Private Rented Accommodation are due to change, this article outlines the changes and what they may mean for our landlords.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 is due to be enacted soon, this means a number of changes for the private rented accommodation sector. All new tenancies from 1st July 2020 will require an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) with this also applying to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. The EICR must be renewed every five years with testing being carried out by a qualified person and there are a number of certificate risk rankings which landlords should be aware of:
C1 items will mean an ‘Unsatisfactory’ report being issued, these are the highest risk items which means that there is an immediate danger due to a fault or risk which could cause injury to person or potential fire or other risk to the property. Dependent on the nature of the risk and the works involved the contractor will try to make safe to allow continued use but may in extreme situations disconnect some or all of the installation.
C2 items will usually also result in an ‘Unsatisfactory’ report, these are medium risk items and normally require action as soon as possible to rectify the fault and obtain a Satisfactory report. They do not pose an immediate danger but there is a potential for future damage if not rectified.
FI (Further Investigation) this classification means that a full inspection could not be carried out or there was an anomaly to the test results which could not be explained. This item will normally be reported along with a C1 or C2 item.
C3 items are recommended improvements, legislation constantly changes and new and better equipment becomes available, when the electrics were installed they would have been to the current standard at that time but there are now some improvements which can be made, they are not currently necessary for a Satisfactory report to be issued but it should planned for these works to be done before the next full examination is carried out which is normally every 5 years.
Prices for these electrical inspections are dependent on the size of the property but it is approximately £230 for a two bed and £255 for a 3 bed. The tenant must be provided with a copy of a valid certificate within 28 days and must be provided with a copy at the start of a new tenancy. The Landlord must also hold the original certificate until the next one is due and must also supply their local authority with a copy of the certificate within 7 days of request. These local authorities have the power to enforce remedial action for non-compliance with fines of up to £30,000 for breaches.