New rental law for landlords 2020: what you need to know about EICR’s
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Richard Brown, electrical contracts manager at Fords South West, explains the new law for landlords in the private rental sector and why it’s important for the safety of tenants.
What is the new law and when does it come into play?
Since July 2020, landlords with new tenants must get the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a qualified professional. Once the mandatory review and test is complete, the tester will present the landlord with an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report). If you are a landlord with current tenants, this new law will apply from April 1, 2021.
If your property has an up-to-date EICR, but you have a change of occupancy before your next test is due, you are required to get a thorough visual check done anyway. Electricians will tick off a small checklist and conduct a few tests to confirm that everything is working as it should before your next tenant moves in.
What is an EICR?
An EICR is the report landlords receive following an official check and test of the electrical installations in their rented property. This form can be requested by the local authority or tenant at any point and will outline if the property is deemed safe for occupancy, or if any repairs are needed.
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How long does an EICR last? Will it need to be renewed?
Landlords must get their EICR before a tenant moves into the property. This check will then need to be repeated every five years thereafter.
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“It’s amazing that electrical checks weren’t regulated before now, since gas checks have been a necessary requirement for landlords for some time,” says Richard.
“Electrical installations, if fitted incorrectly or not properly maintained, can become a real risk to tenant’s safety, so I’m glad there is something in place to hold landlords accountable to make sure this isn’t the case.”
What does an EICR check and test involve?
A qualified engineer will visit the property in question and inspect all electrical installations, such as plug sockets and light fixtures. They will then run a number of tests at the switchboard. Anything that isn’t as it should be – like sockets missing RCDs (Residual Current Devices), or broken light fixtures – will result in a fail and be marked down as something that needs to be repaired before the property is deemed safe to live in.
“If our engineers spot anything dangerous while running their tests, they will take a picture of the problem and we can come up with a quote for the necessary repairs, sometimes within a matter of hours,” Richard explains.
“We understand that although most landlords value the safety of their tenants, they also want any necessary work done as quickly as possible so they can pass the test and focus on their other responsibilities. We can fix any problems, retest and supply a completed EICR certificate.”
How much does an electrical safety check cost?
“We offer a fixed price EICR for all properties,” says Richard. “Our engineers are NICEIC approved and we are able to carry out safety checks seven days of the week to fit in with your schedule.”
What happens if a property fails the safety test and the necessary repairs aren’t carried out?
If you neglect to repair any faulty electrical installations, your tenant could be at risk of damage to their health and even death. You’ll also leave yourself open to being sued by your tenant.
Your local authority could issue you a £30,000 fine for each breach of regulations, so you could face multiple penalties.
Book your EICR inspection today
Richard says: “Our qualified electricians can carry out the necessary checks and testing, and follow-up on any repairs necessary to ensure you are compliant with the current regulations. Contact us to book an inspection.”