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Electrical testing for landlords: What you need to know

If you are a landlord, you need to be proactive when it comes to ensuring the safety of your tenants. However, a majority of landlords fail to do so, putting their tenants and their properties in danger!

To help you ensure the safety of your existing tenants and your property, you need to be familiar with the steps to comply with to ensure that you meet the legal requirements along with everyone being safe.

Due to new regulations, it is required that it’s the landlord’s duty to have all the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent. These inspections and tests must be performed at least every five years. Once these inspections and tests have been completed, the landlord will receive a copy of the electrical safety report which they must provide to their tenants and to the local authority if requested.

Most landlords, won’t notice a change with these regulations coming into effect. If you have been a “good” landlord, then you would have already been performing these electrical safety checks ensuring the safety of your tenants from all the electrical appliances in the home.

These regulations actually into force in June 2020, however, we understand that with the pandemic it has been difficult to keep up to date and on top of these. Especially during a time when hiring a qualified person to perform the tests in rental properties may have breached the lockdown rules.

However, since we have eased out of such strict restrictions and are gradually returning to post-pandemic normal life, it’s good to get back on top of these things. The regulations are a major step towards leveling up the private rented sector, making sure it will offer high-quality, safe, and secure housing. Along with our social and owner-occupied sectors, this is housing this country deserves.

What do the new regulations specifically mean for landlords?

It can feel daunting as a landlord when you hear new regulations have come in, that’s why we’ve tried to make things as clear as possible for you when it comes to knowing what you need to do.

All private landlords in the UK must:

  • Ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during a period when the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy

  • Ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is tested and inspected by a qualified person (‘regular intervals’ is every five years, unless a report from an inspection and test specifies sooner)

However your duties to meet the regulations don’t end here, after the tests and inspections have been performed, the landlord must:

  • Get a report from the qualified person carrying out the inspection and test, which includes the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next one (EICR)

  • Supply a copy of the report to each existing tenant on the premises within 28 days of the inspection

  • Supply a copy of the report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request from the authority

  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the qualified person that carries out the next inspection and test

  • Supply a copy of the most recent report to new tenants and to prospective tenants who request to see it

What does an electrical test and inspection involve?

Electrical installation condition reports (EIRCRs), otherwise known as periodic inspections, must be carried out by a fully qualified and accredited engineer. As a landlord, you must be the person to ensure you hire a competent and qualified engineer for this and local authorities will not accept certificates issued by any other person.

During the inspection, the engineer should look for:

  • Any potential fire hazards or electric shock risks

  • Identify defective electrical work

  • Detect any lack of earthing or bonding

  • Pinpoint any overloading of electrical circuits or equipment

After the inspection, the engineer will issue an EICR detailing any defects, damage, and dangerous conditions they may have discovered during the inspection. If the property is deemed unsafe, the electrical installation will be declared as “unsatisfactory” and remedial action will be required.

It can be daunting as a landlord to find a competent person to trust carrying out such an important task for your tenant’s and properties’ safety. Our professional and friendly team takes the stress of routine electrical testing away! With experience in knowing which regulations apply, our accredited professionals always work to the highest standard and will make sure your electrical and appliances meet their legal requirements.

Electrical testing for landlords

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