New Regulations for Electrical Checks for Landlords in 2021

The year 2021 has brought some new electrical regulations for landlords. These regulations require you to arrange an inspection and an electrical safety certificate, also called an electrical installation condition report (EICR), for all private rented properties. Every landlord must comply with these new rules. Otherwise, you may face a fine of up to £30,000. 

The new electrical safety regulations for landlords were introduced in July 2020. The changes in regulations will apply to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021 onwards. These regulations are designed to improve tenant safety. Therefore, it would behove you to abide by them.

Landlord’s Electrical Safety Certificate

The new regulations for electrical safety for landlords require them to test their property every five years. Upon passing the inspection, they will receive a certificate in the form of a written report. This report is called an Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR.

New Regulations

The new regulations stipulate inspection and testing for the properties in the private rented sector. You should be aware of the following 3 key elements in these regulations, which are your primary obligations;

Arranging an Inspection Every Five Years

Inspection is a key feature in the new regulations. Landlords must arrange for an inspection of their electrical installations every five years by a qualified electrician. You have a legal obligation to supply a copy of EICR to your tenants or local authorities if they ask for it. You should follow this timetable;

Existing Tenants

Within 28 days of inspection and test

New Tenants

Before occupying the premises

Prospective Tenants

Within 28 days of receiving a request for tenancy

Local Authorities

Within 7 days of receiving a notification or request

The report should include a date for the next inspection and testing. You must also keep a copy for the next inspection.

Meeting National Standards

The latest national standards for electrical safety are outlined in the 18th edition of BS-7671 Wiring Regulations. You may ask for assistance from a qualified electrician for better understanding.

Fulfilling the Remedial Requirements

If there is any remedial work required in your report, it must be completed within 28 days or less of the report’s date. Your electrician will give written confirmation upon completing the work to the tenant and local authority within 28 days.

Tenancies Covered by Regulations

Existing tenancies must comply with the 18th edition of BS-7671 by 1st April 2021. New tenancies are already under this legislation since 1st July 2020, including assured short-term tenancies, licenses for occupation and certain HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation).

There are exceptions for lodgers, social housing tenants, hostels, refuges, care homes, student halls of residence, certain healthcare accommodations, and leases of seven years or longer. These tenancies have their own set of regulations.

What Must a Landlord Do?

Aside from following the regulations, you must ensure to have the inspection and testing booked before the mandatory time arrives. You must do all you can to make your electrical installations safe. You need a qualified and competent electrician to carry out the job, once every five years.

Prepare your property for testing ahead of time. Be clear on what and where your installations are, such as wiring, sockets, light fittings, fuse boxes, extractors, etc.

The tenants of a property are responsible for ensuring the safety of their personal appliances.