Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate – Legal Requirements

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Most landlords realize the importance of electrical safety for their tenants, so they are usually considerate when it comes to safeguarding the state of electrical appliances. However, negligence in some cases has led to the introduction of new legislation for landlord electrical safety certificates.

Now all landlords are supposed to pursue a landlord electrical certificate, which must be carried out by a registered and competent electrician. However, the issuance of such a certificate is reliant on a successful report on the safety conditions of all electrical appliances on the premises. If the landlord has maintained the electrical infrastructure of their property in the past years, the test should go smoothly with only minor issues that need to be fixed. Once the remedial actions have been carried out, the safety of the property is certified by the electrician.

Before the June 2020 implementation of this new regulation, only properties with multiple occupants were legally bound to have landlord electrical safety certificates.

All HMOs and other types of private rental properties must now be subjected to periodic electrical safety checks, and any issues identified by these examinations must be remedied within the notice period, which is usually 28 days. In some cases, the electrician will notify the landlord if the repairs must be handled immediately or in less than the average mandate.

Before all this, regulations for single occupant properties and their electrical safety have been vague, as the regulations were obscure in their elaboration of electrical safety, simply deeming the landlord responsible for electrical safety without specifying the nature of safety checks or criteria for evaluation of safety observations.

Now following the rule of the electrical regulation of 2020, implemented on June 1st, 2020, this responsibility of electrical safety will be in the form of mandatory checks every five years, carried out by a registered electrician. This inspection must include all electrical appliances of a stationary nature in the property.

Following the announcement, April 1st, 2020 was set as the deadline for the inspections, and any private rental property is illegal to lease without a landlord electrical certificate.

The local housing authority must be supplied with a copy of the EICR certificate within 7 days of issuance. All existing tenants must also receive a copy of the EICR report within 28 days of the proclaimed mandate. New tenants must also receive a copy when they are interviewed for their tenancy. The next electrician carrying out the next inspection in five years must be provided with a report of the previous inspection as well, so keep a copy of the landlord’s electrical safety certificate for future use.

The report will contain a list of all electrical faults and possible hazards. Once identified, the electrician will recommend a series of remedial actions and repairs or replacements. The landlord is obligated to carry out the repairs themselves or book a qualified electrician to carry out the repairs or replacements. The repairs must also be completed within 28 days of notice.

The new legislation also introduced new parameters for landlords owning HMOs.

The housing authority will require proof of repairs on the deadline specified in the report. If the report does not define a due date for repairs, the default is 28 days. If the landlord fails to take action and undergo repairs as specified in the landlord’s electrical safety certificate, the authority may issue penalties and hefty fines. The real trouble here is that each violation of these regulations can be fined individually, so a series of minor electrical issues can leave you with fines upwards of 30,000 pounds. So it is recommended to book an electrician for repairs as soon the electrical safety report is issued. It is wiser to book the same electrician that carried out the test, as they will have an existing understanding of what the issues are and the best way to deal with them. ElectricWorks London employs a team of qualified electricians experienced in carrying out electrical safety repairs. Remember, only registered electricians are legally eligible to issue a landlord electrical certificate.

Are our electrical safety regulations for rental properties applicable to my house?

All rental properties that have been registered as the main place of living for a tenant are subject to electrical safety regulations for landlords. This also includes the short-term tenancies.

However, there are some exceptions to this implementation, such as public housing areas, lodgers, and tenancies that are set up for more than 7 years by their lease. Other exempted classes of the property include parking lots, nursing homes, etc.

Which electrical installations are included in the landlord electrical safety certificate?

As we mentioned, all stationary electrical installations directly connected to your power grid will be subject to an electrical inspection of their safety condition. This consist of electrical fixtures for example lights and smoke detectors, power switches and fuse boxes, and other consumer units.

Are electrical appliances included in the electrical safety check?

This specific rendition of regulations is only focused on electrical installations since it is focused on ensuring safety for rental properties. In most cases, rental properties are not furnished, so electrical appliances like fridges and washing machines are not included in the safety report.

However, landlords can order a different inspection called PAT or Portable Appliance Testing, which is a great guarantee checking the safety status of electrical appliances. In addition, a report of their condition can be used in court in possible disputes with the tenants over any accidents involving electrical appliances. Without it, you may end up convicted of neglect for the safety of your tenants and be fined accordingly.

Is a landlord electrical certificate enough for electrical safety?

An electrical safety inspection is a great tool for identifying electrical hazards, but that is only the minimum legal requirement. If you want to improve the safety of your property and tenants, there is more you can do. For starters, you should perform visual check-ups of electrical installations yourself, more frequently than the regulations mandate. Five years is a long time to leave electrical appliances unchecked after all.

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