The RLA has received a number of calls regarding electrical safety inspections in the last month.
New regulations are coming into force that will require landlords in England to have an electrical installation condition report (EICR) in place before they grant or renew a tenancy from July 1st 2020.
The rules are set to be rolled out to all existing tenancies from April 2021.
The majority of landlords in England already have an EICR for their property. MHCLG has stated that 78% of landlords have one in place for their most recent tenancy.
One landlord member gave our advice team a call this week, because they were concerned about the validity of their current report. They wanted to know whether they need to get a new one, or whether they will need to perform additional works.
The regulations as currently drafted do appear to require that all properties meet the latest electrical safety standards rather than the standards in place when they last had an EICR performed.
The 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (the current standards) have only been in place since the start of 2019, meaning the majority of properties in England do not meet these standards.
As such it is quite reasonable for landlords to be concerned regarding this as potentially they are in breach of their requirements even if they have a valid EICR that states the installations are safe but not at the 18th Edition standards.
However, we believe that MHCLG do not intend for the regulations to work this way. They have consistently communicated that landlords with existing EICRs will not need to get a new one and that there is sufficient inspectors available for the 22% of landlords without an EICR in place.
As such, we are recommending that landlords with existing EICRs wait before taking action, and this is what we advised this member.
Amendments to the regulations are still possible and further guidance on which properties are affected will be forthcoming from MHCLG before the regulations come into force.
RLA guidance on electrical safety
The RLA has updated its guidance for landlords on electrical safety in England, in light of the above. The guidance can be read here.