In February of this year, a Government consultation recommended new safety measures be implemented for the increased safety of all tenants in the Private Rental Sector. The goal is to reduce risk of accidents caused by electrical faults through more rigorous mandatory electrical installation safety checks.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to live.” said Housing Minister Heather Wheeler “While measures are already in place to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties we need to do more to protect tenants. That’s why we introduced powers to enable stronger electrical safety standards to be brought in along with tough penalties for those who don’t comply.”
What classes as Electrical Installations?
Electrical Installations basically means the hard wiring in the house – all the wiring, sockets, switches, light fittings etc. – and these can be tested with an EICR.
What is an EICR?
EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. It is official document that is produced following a thorough safety and condition assessment. These used to be called PIR’s or Periodic Inspection Reports. They are also sometimes referred to as a Landlord Safety Test or Homebuyers Test. EICR’s need to be performed by qualified electricians.
What does this mean for Landlords?
HMO properties – or Houses in Multiple Occupation – are those classified as having 3 or more unrelated occupants e.g. shared houses on single or joint tenancies. All HMO’s, whether they are licensed HMO’s or non-licenced HMO’s, must have their have fixed electrical installations inspected and tested “at intervals not exceeding 5 years”.
Landlords will need to ensure their testing is up to date and that they have the documentation to prove it, or risk significant fines. Local authorities will be able to request proof in the form of a valid certificate and Landlords would need to be able to produce it within 7 days if asked. An EICR would then need to be provided.
Every Landlord – HMO or otherwise – has a responsibility to ensure the electrical safety of their property and the appliances that they provide. Under the Landlord and Tenants Act (1985), Landlords must make sure that all the electricals and appliances are in proper working order and maintained safely throughout the Tenancy.
It is extremely likely that the Government will be rolling out the 5 year EICR rule to all rental properties (not just HMO’s) very soon.
With that in mind, it’s not only best practice but also a good idea to get ahead of the curve and ensure your property is up to spec with the relevant certifications in place.
What does this mean for Let Leeds managed Landlords?
As you are fully aware, Let Leeds takes the safety of its Tenants and the legal protection of its Landlords extremely seriously. To ensure that our Landlords are being legally proactive and fully compliant, as well as reducing the risk of our Tenants suffering any injury in the face of unsafe electrics, we have decided to opti-in all of our managed Landlords to a provide an EICR Certificate, which lasts for 5 years, on every single rental property under our management.
Let Leeds has used its bulk buying power to agree a large discount with our panel of fully qualified electricians to provide 5 year EICR Certificates at great value. Let Leeds has reduced the usual cost of £252 for an EICR down to £170 for the next three months. This is a saving of 32%. Acting now will prevent higher costs in the future when these regulations come into force and when Electricians are in extremely high demand.
Let Leeds will be contacting all of its Landlords shortly to opt them in to providing excellent safety standards, reducing their risk and liability should something go wrong. Our managed Landlords will receive further emails opting them in to the EICR scheme and we will be in touch about instructing our panel of qualified electricians.
You can read more about the electrical safety standards here on the Government website
What happens following an EICR?
After the qualified electrician has visited the property for the EICR, there may be some remedial works required to ensure the condition of the electrics is safe for the Tenants. This will be determined by the report itself which will identify the scope of works required to bring the property up to standard. For those that require attention, the report will generate one of the following three codes:
EICR CODE 1 – This is a potential or immediate danger that will require immediate attention. The electrician will need to make this safe straight away. Examples of a Code 1 fault would be no bonding or no main earth. An EICR certificate would not be produced until this work was completed and these works must be completed immediately.
EICR CODE 2 – This is a fault that requires urgent attention. It may not be an immediate danger but could cause harm in the future. An example of a Code 2 fault would be a lack of RCD protection or overloading of sockets in bedrooms. Works would need to be carried out prior to receiving a satisfactory EICR certificate.
EICR CODE 3 – These are advisory recommendations to bring the electrics in the property up to latest regulations. An example of this would be labelling the consumer unit or adding extra sockets to bedrooms. An EICR certificate would be produced prior to code 3 works being completed and these advisory recommendations could be completed in the future if desired.
If remedial works are required, we can obtain a full estimate for the works and manage the process for you.
Let Leeds and its Landlords take Tenant safety extremely seriously and encourage all Landlords to take action now. We have agreed a bulk discount with our panel of preferred fully qualified electricians to provide a 5-year EICR certificate at a reduced rate.
Not only does this provide a saving on our normal prices, but also means that every Landlord can ensure they are being legally proactive and fully compliant, as well as providing a safer place for their Tenants to live. Acting now will prevent higher costs in the future when these regulations are made mandatory to all rental properties, which will put pressure on electricians and increase costs and timescales. For further details please contact your Property Manager.
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