Deadline for landlords’ electrical checks approaching fast

Landlords with private sector rented properties must comply with new rules on electrical installation safety tests or face fines of up to £30,000. 

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations were introduced last summer, but there are just weeks remaining before a key compliance deadline.

The laws make it compulsory for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to have been completed by 1 April 2021 for all existing specified tenancies. 

See also: 5 most common cross-compliance errors and how to avoid them

An EICR report has also been a legal requirement ahead of the start date for most new residential tenancies since 1 July 2020.

The purpose is to ensure that electrical safety standards are being met by inspecting and testing every electrical installation in the premises.

The regulations apply to: 

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancies
  • Assured tenancies, including Rent Act and Rent Agriculture Act
  • Agricultural tenancies granted for less than seven years which include a house
  • Houses within Farm Business Tenancies and Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies where initial fixed term is less than seven years
  • Service occupancies where a rent is charged, even if not market rent. 

Jessica Waddington, senior associate director for Strutt & Parker, said the deadline was fast-approaching and landlords must act. 

“The regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their rented properties inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every five years,” Ms Waddington said.  

“Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.” 

The report should cost between £150 and £250 plus VAT for a standard three-bedroom dwelling. Costs could rise if remedial action needs to be carried out if any problems are uncovered.

In contrast, failure to carry out the checks and any required work could leave landlords exposed to fines of up to £30,000, she added. 

Compliance checklist

  1. Arrange for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to be produced by a properly qualified and competent person.
  2. Do any remedial work within 28 days of the test (or sooner if so stated in the report).
  3. Give a copy of the report to all tenants (individually) within 28 days of the test.
  4. Keep a copy of the report for your records.
  5. Record the due date of the next test (in five years’ time) in your property management system.
  6. Consider whether a new test is needed if work is done to the property.
  7. Give a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test.

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