New electrical safety regulations have just come into force across England. As always, landlords must familiarise themselves with the new rules and ensure that they are compliant going forward.
What Do Landlords Need to Know?
The industry has been lobbying hard to secure more time for landlords to ensure compliance. However, these protestations seem to have fallen on deaf ears. The new regulations have been in force since July 1st 2020 and landlords are now legally obligated to ensure their compliance.
From now on, landlords will need to make sure that they are compliant with the new regulations when they sign a new lease with a tenant. But the new rules are also being applied retroactively, Tenancies that were approved and started in June 2020 must also be compliant.
Electrical Safety Checks
Under the new regulations, landlords must commission an inspection of the electrical installations in properties that they rent to tenants. If the landlord adds new installations or modifies existing ones, they must obtain a new Electrical Installation Condition Report. For new builds, landlords should give tenants a copy of the Electrical Installation Certificate report before they move in.
If there is any work that needs doing as a result of the report, the electrician doing the inspection will categorise the work according to the following classifications:
- Code 1: Danger present and risk of injury. These are the highest priority works, and you should deal with as a matter of urgency. If an inspection uncovers the problem during a tenancy, you should commission remedial work at once. If the check occurs before a lease begins, you should resolve the issue before the tenant moves in.
- Code 2: Potentially dangerous. You should have these works completed as soon as possible as they can present a safety hazard. However, they do not pose an immediate danger, as a Code 1 issue does. You should commission remedial work for Code 2 works within 28 days of the report.
- FI: Further investigation is required. This classification means that the inspector has detected an issue, but they cannot assess the full extent of it at the time of the report. This classification usually means that you need a specialist to come and diagnose the underlying issue.
- Code 3: Works that an inspector puts in this category are recommendations and are not mandatory. Completing these works will improve the standards of your electrical installations but it doesn’t affect safety.
Renewing Electrical Safety Certificates
You will need to renew your electrical safety certificates every five years. Commissioning an inspection is easy, landlords can book a report here. With Trade Facilities Services, you can order a report and obtain a Landlord Electrical Certificate. The price will depend on the size of the property, but you can check their website for more details.
If you have problems with your electrics after a report gives them the all-clear, you may need to commission a new report. The industry is expecting a surge in requests as lockdown lifts and the backlog of property transactions stalled by Covid begin to resume. Make sure that you prepare to renew your certificates well in advance of their expiration dates.