What do the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require?

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Landlords have had it easy in the UK before 2020, but this year quite a few regulations were introduced that directly affect the requirements for private rental services, and chief among them is the electrical safety standards regulation bill.

Based on these latest regulations, Landlords of private rented properties in the UK must:

  • Adhere to nationwide regulatory standards, as defined by the British Standard 7671, which focuses mostly on wiring regulations for private properties.
  • Determine the competence of the certified electrician carrying out the safety inspections by monitoring their identification and their apparent proficiency. You can hire a trusted electrician services company like Electric Works London to make sure you’re getting the best services.
  • Order an EICR inspection every five years, by hiring a professional electrician who understands all applicable housing authority regulations and can inspect the property accordingly.
  • Obtain and safe keep a copy of the EICR certificate and mark the next mandated appointment, which is five years apart for private properties.
  • Send a copy of the EICR report to the local housing authority in the same week
  • Send a copy to the current or next within the next twenty-eight days.
  • Show the copy to any prospective tenants before agreeing on any terms for the rental contract
  • Carry out all required repair and replacement tasks within a month of EICR issuance, if the report mandates any immediate maintenance work.
  • Acquire a certificate of repair or replacement from the electrician carrying out the task, who should be registered in the UK to issue a valid certificate.
  • Supply the local housing authority and tenants with the certificate of remedial action.

Which rented properties do the Electrical Safety Regulations apply to?

Any private property rented to a tenant as their only place of residence is affected by changes in electrical safety regulations, and the regulations must be observed before the legal process of renting the property can be completed.

Properties exempt from this specific regulation include student housing communes, hostels and other shared rental properties or rental leases with contracts longer than seven years.

How do I find a ‘qualified and competent person’ to carry out the test?

Electrical installation testing can’t be carried out by anyone without registration for electrical services but finding the best person who will look thoroughly and with care, and does not oversimplify the process of testing is paramount. A rushed EICR test is of no use, and cannot be completed in an hour or two. A normal one-bedroom house needs at least 3 hours for EICR inspection. If your electrician issues a report faster, then they are skipping vital steps of the inspection. A visual check alone isn’t good enough to identify concealed wiring for example, and diagnosing such issues requires testing equipment and proficiency with electrical engineering.

Electric Works London is one of the few electrical services companies in London that combines excellent service with moderate pricing, and still hires registered electricians that may charge more, but offer efficiency and professionalism.

It’s recommended to hire an electrician through a company if you are looking for a trusted electrician, as the companies will hire better electricians to improve their marketability. By doing so, you don’t have to be on alert during the testing, as you can follow up any issues with a company after the inspection.

If you’re hiring a registered electrician by yourself, make sure you check their registration. Ask them about their experience carrying out EICR inspections, as it shows their competence and knowledge of different electrical installation models and types.

What standards should the electrical installation meet?

An electrical installation, regardless of its use, must be up to basic electrical safety standards, which means it should be able to pass a visual check-in addition to a technical and thorough examination of its connection to the main circuit and power consumption levels.

If an installation is creating instability in the circuit, it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. A registered electrician is the only person capable of diagnosing technical issues and is eligible to recommend whether the installations should be repaired or replaced.

What will the report show?

EICR certificate designates every single installation or fixture with details, as the electrician is supposed to identify them and figure out if there is anything wrong with them. The severity of the issue determines which designation will mark the installation. These designations also show what actions should be taken to deal with the issue and the urgency of the required repair or replacement work.

There are four designations in total:

·        Code 1 (C1): imminent risk or threat of electrical incident, which should be dealt with immediately. The electrician may see fit to repair or replace the installation in the inspection session.

·        Code 2 (C2): Potential risk, with a probably chance of an incident or emergency, which should be handled as soon as possible.

·        FI: Further Investigation must be carried out to determine the condition of installation or fixture due to unexpected difficulties.

Further investigation can be carried out by the same electrician at the request of the landlord, or it can be addressed later during another EICR inspection. Any recommended upgrades must be taken into account for future renovations, as their lack of urgency may temp the landlord to ignore them. Ignoring such issues can lead to C1 level problems in the next inspection which would cost more to repair, or might force you to replace the installation.

Ordering an Electrical Safety Check is encouraged at the change of tenancy

A safety check is officially mandated every five years, but you can choose to hire an electrician at any time to carry out an EICR inspection if you feel like your rental property must be assessed before new tenants move in, and make sure the last tenant left the property as safe as it was.

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