Another day, another law passed.
I'm referring to the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ Basically just like a gas safety certificate it's the requirement of a certificate, this time to ascertain the electrics are safe.
Now I don't know about you, but I get the heebiejeebies when a new law like this has been passed. I mean, when was the last time you got electrocuted in your own place? Right, never I'd imagine. I'd wager that most, responsible, landlords like yourselves and me would never dream of letting a place with extension cords dangling over a fish tank. You know, the kind you see on Rogue Landlords on TV and the like... The government however thinks that this happens all the time. Well, it does happen enough to warrant a TV Series, but still, more red tape me thinks. Electrics are perfectly safe aren't they?? If sparks aren't flying then it's all good, right?
The Flip side
Maybe not... think about the Grenfell tragedy, that was (allegedly) caused by a misfiring fridge or what not. Would the fire have been prevented with a periodic inspection and a PAT test? Perhaps... we'll never know. I think the good thing about this legislation is that it forces reputable landlords to up their game and help PREVENTING the next disaster, and protecting thousands of (perhaps vulnerable) tenants.
Is it a good thing?
If you run a licensed HMO you will be used to having to do some kind of electrical inspection by someone competent anyway, so nothing much changes. If you are the vanilla, single-let kinda guy (or gal) then this will be new to you. In a nutshell we need to throw money at a qualified cowboy that sticks his fingers in sockets for a living to measure how high his hair stands up.
What is the result?
Out comes a shiny report! Most likely it will have a list of advisories like an MOT, half of which will be absolutely fine until something drastic happens, a bit like a worn tyre, it will only trouble you at the moment that last bit of grip is absolutely necessary. So in a nutshell, it's a good thing! It will certainly prevent tenants from dying due to botched installations, or things that just go wrong. Despite me having all my refurbishments carried out by skilled, qualified professionals there's always something that goes wrong, I got a list that needs to be put right...
A necessary evil me thinks! So if you are in property letting be advised you cannot draw up a new agreement without this new EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report). It's a 5 year expiry on these, so it's not going to be overly onerous, but you can easily get caught out with these things if you don't keep a tab on them!
A good landlord (one that complies with the new legislation) is obliged to:
- Get the property inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
- Obviously get a report for the above to evidence it's been done
- Give the existing tenant a copy of the report within 28 days of the inspection and test.
- Crucial! Supply a copy of the report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
- To supply a copy of the report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report. I would personally love to let my places this far in advance but it's rare!!
- Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days if requested.
- keep a copy of the report to give to the tester undertaking the next inspection.
- Complete any remedial work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified.
- Just as with the report you must supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial to the tenant
For the full snoozefest do go on to the GOV.UK site.
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