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Landlords and new electrical check laws

It has now come into effect that agents and landlords must ensure that an electrical installation condition ( EICR ) report is carried out on all new tenancies from July 1st this year. This is to be extended to all existing tenancies from April 1st 2021. I doubt this will come as much of a surprise, as this has been touted as a possibility for many years now.

The Government requested that the private renting sector have there current standards laid before parliament. The Electrical Safety Standards was brought into review and it was deemed best to ensure electrical checks are done on every property and a valid electrical installation condition report ( EICR ) was in  place.

After an analysis by the ARLA, they have said that a property should be electrically inspected and tested and a electrical installation condition reported ( EICR ) upto every 5 years. The term of the reported is more based on the electricians decision based on the age and current condition of the property in question. It is recommended that any electrical inspection carried is done with a electrician who is registered with a governing body. Generally NAPIT or the NICEIC.

The landlord or managing agent will be subject to obtaining the electrical installation condition report ( EICR ), they will then have to provide this to the tenant within 28. Failure to do so could lead to issues with breach of contract and other problems for the landlord or managing agent.

The electrical installation condition report must be provided upon request to the local housing authority with in 7 seven days according to the ARLA. The ARLA state as above that the electrical installation condition report will the be passed onto a new tenant before occupation or with 28 days of a request of the current tenant.

The punishment for breaches in the regulations for not providing the electrical installation condition report ( EICR ) can lead to large financial penalties. The local housing authority may have the right to impose fines of upto £30000.

The ( ARLA) Association of Residential Lettings Agents have backed the move by the government. One response is that they believe it will create a level playing field for all agents and landlords and ensure the safety of all tenants where problems for electrical safety mat arise.

The mandate of electrical testing and reports, will have a small impact on good landlords who followed the good standards line and ensured they already had all the required paperwork in place. The volume of testing that will arise from the new legislation did originally raise concerns due to the impact on the electrical industry and the number of electricians available to undertake the electrical inspection and testing. This was reason why the decision was undertaken to implement the idea that new tenancies will be done in July 2020 and existing tenancies the electrical installation condition report ( EICR ) will be in place by April 2021.

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