Thu 16 Jan 2020
COMPULSORY ELECTRICAL SAFETY INSPECTIONS TO BE REQUIRED IN ALL PRIVATE RENTED HOMES
Today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that mandatory five-year electrical installation checks on private rented housing in England will be introduced in a phased approach.
General Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 look set to become law from as early as April 1 this year, initially applying to all new tenancies - whilst Electrical Inspection Condition Reports (EICR's) will be required on any new tenancies from July 1st this year. From April 1st 2021, this will apply to all new AND existing tenancies in the private rented sector. Reports will need to be undertaken by contractors with the relevant qualifications.
Copies of the report will have to be provided to prospective tenants on request, and given to new tenants before they move in. The check-in report will also have to give the results of the inspection. Any remedial work must be done within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.
Local councils can also request a copy of the report, which must be provided within seven days.
Enforcement is by the local authority, which can order that work be done. Failure could result in a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
Unlike gas safety certificates, which need to be renewed annually, EICR's will last for 5 years, unless specified on the report (which can state the need for re-assessment after 3, 4 or 5 years).
What should you do now?
There’s no obligation to really do anything right now, but if you’d rather get ahead of the game (whilst electricians are still available!!) then you can call us on 01480 218200 or email email@example.com
Alternatively, for the time being, you can visually inspect your electrical installations yourself; you’re mostly looking for:
* Worn out fuse box/consumer unit
* Trip switches regularly tripping
* Specific switch or plug causes the trip switches to trip (could indicate isolated electrical issue)
* Frayed insulation or exposed wiring
* Wire insulation browned or melted from overheating
* Buzzing sound coming from outlets when turned on
* Charred or discoloured outlets and switches
* Part melted plugs (could indicate an electrical fault with appliance or property)
* The smell of burning anywhere in the property when electrics are being used
* Sparking when turning outlets on or off or plugging or unplugging appliances
* Flickering or dimming lights (could indicate bulb needs replacing in most cases)
* Plugs won’t turn off
* Plugs won’t turn on
We will also of course flag up any potential issues that we see during routine inspections - but bear in mind our property inspectors are not qualified electricians.
If you have any further questions at this time, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will keep you in the loop with any further updates on this as it progresses through Parliament.
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