It’s not been a particularly easy time to be a landlord. Not only have there been countless extensions to the eviction ban as a result of COVID, which have left thousands of landlords out of pocket or laboured with bad tenants they can’t legally get rid of, but new legislation continues to be dropped seemingly every other month that they need to keep on top of.
From 1st April this year, all landlords in England must have their electrical installations inspected and tested by an electrical engineer. They will then have to have those electrics tested at least every five years.
Why the change?
According to statistics, there are 12,500 fires and 750 fire-based fatalities reported every year. Half of these are caused directly by electrical faults. Those statistics also reveal that those who rent properties are significantly more likely to be seriously injured in an electrical fire.
This is why the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 act was introduced into law in June last year.
However, from April 1, these regulations apply to new tenancies undertaken from June 2020 and all existing tenancies, aside from a few exemptions.
What are the fines?
Failure to comply with these new rules could leave landlords looking down the business end of a rather severe fine.
Indeed, local councils will have the power to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000. They will most likely start, however, by serving a notice demanding work is undertaken.
It’s only if that work hasn’t been completed within 28 days that the council will send an electrical over to take out the work and claim the cost back from the landlord.
For landlords renting student housing, meanwhile, it’s worth noting that failure to comply with new regulations could lead to HMO licenses being revoked too.
Who needs to inspect my property and what are they inspecting?
You’ll need the inspection to be signed off by a qualified professional electrician that’s been accredited with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).
They will be inspecting the electrics throughout your property and giving them a grade of C1, C2, or C3.
C1 means the electrics are dangerous and need immediate attention, C2 means they need attention but are not dangerous and C3 is a passing grade.
The electrician will be examining the fuse board, all switches, sockets and light fittings and will also be testing protective devices to ensure they are functional.
Testing appliances is not a legal requirement, however, it is considered good practice so it certainly wouldn’t do any harm.
For more on EICR checks and what the new regulations mean for landlords, feel free to contact us today for more information or to book an inspection with one of our skilled electrical engineers.