29th June 2020
In a recent blog post, which we published on 5th May 2020, we stated that The Electrical Safety Standard Regulations in the Private Rented Sector (England) 2020 had been laid before parliament applying to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. There has been no delay to these Regulations due to COVID-19 in relation to new tenancies but there may be some amendment to renewals and periodic tenancies. We’re waiting for further updates from Propertymark.
Landlords need to ensure that the electrical installation in their rental property has been checked and confirmed safe by a qualified electrician. This is called an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Further safety checks will then be required at 5-yearly intervals. Copies of reports must be provided to tenants (and the council if requested). Any remedial works deemed essential on the EICR are to be completed within 28 days of the report. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000. Landlords should not fear this change in regulation. Tenant safety is an essential part of property management and we welcome this update. A professional landlord with a quality property will want to ensure it is safe for their tenants, and keeping properties well maintained ensures optimum rent can be achieved and long-term tenants remain in situ.
We have been carrying out electrical safety checks since January of this year, with the idea that it would give our landlords a ‘headstart’ in what is sure to be a busy time for electricians. Our forward-thinking paid off, as the recent lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 has put added pressure on the timescales for getting safety checks completed for new lettings. The last thing we want is for any of our landlord clients having to delay marketing because they do not have safety certificates in place.
Last week we encountered our first major EICR issue. Tenants gave their notice and the property came up for re-letting. The EICR was carried out but the independent contractor determined that a full re-wire of the property was required. With new tenants due to move into the property 14 days later, the timescales were extremely tight. We did manage to schedule the works, but at a premium price. If the landlord had obtained the EICR much earlier, the works could have been pre-planned much sooner at a significantly lower price.
This is a message to all landlords recommending that forward planning is needed when it comes to EICR’s.
Going forward, we will only list a property to let if the landlord has an EICR in place, with any necessary remedial works complete. If you have a property likely to come onto the market in the coming months, be prepared and have an EICR undertaken now.
For our managed properties, we can arrange the electrical inspection, remedial work and repeat safety visits for our landlords, ensuring they remain compliant, but this needs attending to well in advance of a property needing re-letting. We only recommend independent EICR Safety Inspectors for the checks. These Inspectors do not undertake any remedial works recommended, for which we obtain open market quotations from our great team of contractors who can ensure any necessary work is carried out promptly and to a high standard.
If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0113 2742033.