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Electrical regulations for landlords

How To Comply With The Latest Landlord Electrical Regulations12th Nov 2020

by Eric Holt on 12th Nov 2020

Contact Eric Holt

Don’t Risk A Fine Of £30,000 (Per Breach)

As a private landlord you could be fined up to £30,000 (per breach) if you fail to comply with the latest electrical safety regulations.
You must:

  • ensure all electrical installations in your properties comply with the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations (Institution of Engineering and Technology, BS 7671)
  • have every electrical installation in your properties inspected and tested at least every five years.

Get Expert Legal Advice On Your Duties As A Landlord

Get An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

You must obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for each of your properties. You must provide a copy to each tenant.

The report will cover permanently connected equipment such as hobs, ovens, showers, night storage heaters and extractor fans. The inspecting electrician will check all circuits from the consumer unit.

How Long Do I Have To Comply?

The new regulations apply to all existing tenancies from April 1 2021. They are already in force for new tenancies (including renewals) from July 1 2020. (New tenancies are any granted after June 1 2020.)

Complying with the new regulations could mean a significant undertaking for some landlords but that is no excuse to cut corners. Not when the safety of people and property is concerned.

There is already some debate over the level of compliance required. According to the IET, “Existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the regulations may not comply. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.”

But the letter of the law states that your properties must comply with the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations.

And there is also the question of insurance. Would insurers refuse to pay out on claims involving properties that failed to comply with the strict wording of the new rules? Even if an electrician had inspected a property and judged it to be ‘safe’?

How Often Must I Have My Properties Inspected?

At least every five years. And if your existing safety report stipulates annual inspections then that is what you must do.

A statutory periodic tenancy is classed as a renewal. So you must obtain a written report before the fixed term ends. You must provide a copy of the report to your:

  • tenants within 28 days
  • local authority within seven days (if requested).

Just like a gas safety record, you must give any new tenant the most recent report before they move in. And you must provide a copy to prospective tenants within 28 days (on request).

What if repairs are needed? You must complete them within 28 days.

Enforcement And Penalties

The local authority can serve a remedial notice if you fail to comply.

In some cases, non-compliance could result in multiple penalties – each a fine up to £30,000.

Who Is Included? Who Is Excluded?

The new regulations apply only to England. They cover tenancies which grant one or more people the right to occupy all or part of the property as their main residence. They must also pay rent (whether at a market rate or not).

Some tenancies are excluded, such as: lodgers, tenants sharing facilities with the landlord’s family, student halls of residence, hostels, refuges, care homes, hospitals, hospices, other NHS accommodation, private register providers of social housing.

Find Out More

Find out more about the latest electrical and gas safety regulations for rented property – contact Coles Miller Debt Recovery Manager Eric Holt for more information.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.