Electrical Safety Standards – Legal Requirements

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

New regulations for electrical safety in private rented property come into force on 1st July 2020 for new tenancies and on 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies.

Landlords will be required to ensure national standards for electrical safety are met.

The government guidance regarding this new legislation can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector

Electrical installations in privately rented properties must be inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years and any remedial work identified must be carried out.

The requirement to have electrical installations periodically tested, was previously only applicable to ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO), however these new regulations extend this duty to most types of privately rented accommodation.

Landlords must obtain a report (usually an ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ or ‘EICR’) from the person conducting the inspection and test which explains its outcomes and any investigative or remedial work required.

Landlords must then supply a copy of this report to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test, to a new tenant before they occupy the premises, and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.

If a local authority requests it, landlords must supply them with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving the request.

If the report requires remedial work or further investigation, landlords must provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant and to the local authority within 28 days of completing the work.

Landlords must retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.

 

Advice to Landlords on commissioning an ‘EICR’

As ‘Local Housing Authority’ (LHA), Sefton Council can require certain private rented sector landlords, to have fixed electrical installations at their properties, inspected and tested….. and for them to submit a report (usually in the form of an ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ or ‘EICR’) to the authority, within 7 days of having received a written request.

EICRs may be required for three main purposes;

    1. In compliance with Regulation 3 (1) of ‘The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ (SI 312:2020) – which are the new electrical safety regulations applicable to most Private Rented Sector housing and which came into force from 1st June 2020.
    2. In compliance with Regulation 7 (3) of ‘The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007’ (SI 1903:2007) – which is applicable solely to ‘Section 257 HMOs’ (i.e. certain converted blocks of flats) and which came into force from 1st October 2007.
    3. As a condition of housing licensing applications under Parts 2 & 3 of ‘The Housing Act 2004’ (i.e. Mandatory HMO, Additional HMO and Selective licensing).

As an LHA we must be assured that any EICR submitted in connection with the above, is both genuine and legitimate and that the inspector carrying out the inspection & testing of electrical installations and producing the EICR, is competent to do so. 

Inspection and testing of electrical installations, is described by the ‘Institution of Engineering and Technology’ (IET) as; “a complex task that requires an extra level of qualification and competency, beyond the standard four-year vocational route commonly followed by qualified inspectors and testers”.

It is therefore strongly recommended that all landlords who are required to provide an EICR, should check on their Electrical Inspector’s specific competency to carry out inspection and testing, before engaging them to carry out an EICR.

The Landlord can do this by either;

a. Checking if the inspector is a member of a relevant competent person scheme and specifically registered for electrical inspection & testing, via the ‘Registered Competent Person Electrical’ website: https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/

or by;

b. Requiring the inspector to complete and sign a checklist and declaration certifying their competence, which must include confirming that they hold all of the following;

      1. An appropriate qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671), such as City & Guilds 2382 -18 BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition Qualification
      2. Have a specific qualification covering periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations, such as City & Guilds 2391-51 or 52, Level 3 Award in Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations
      3. At least two years’ experience, in carrying out periodic inspection and testing of electrical installations
      4. Public Liability Insurance of at least £2 million
      5. Professional Indemnity Insurance of at least £250,000

 

Download the Competency Checklist and Declaration or request a copy by emailing private.housing@sefton.gov.uk or landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk

 

Please note that Sefton Council’s Housing Standards Team will carry out this same process for all EICRs submitted to this authority. So, if you commission an EICR from an electrical inspector that is not a member of a relevant competent person scheme and specifically registered for electrical inspection & testing, this authority will require written affirmation of their competency, by requiring that you have them complete the afore-mentioned check list and declaration.

If the check list and declaration is not suitably completed and / or returned…. or if any of the above list of competency requirements are not met, then we will not accept the EICR submitted.

In cases where submitted EICRs are rejected by the LHA, the landlord will still be required to provide an EICR from an Electrical Inspector that can demonstrate specific competency in electrical inspection & testing, in compliance with the appropriate legislation. Sefton Council will not be liable for any additional cost in doing this and may also take enforcement action for your failure to provide a genuine and legitimate EICR, by an inspector that is competent to produce it.

Again, the best way to ensure your electrical inspector is competent to produce an EICR, is to use one that is a specifically registered for inspection and testing and listed on the ‘Registered Competent Person Electrical’ website:   

https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/

 

All EICRs submitted, must be in the format as prescribed in Appendix 6 of BS 7671: 2018. Other formats of report, such as ‘Visual Inspection Reports’, etc, will not be accepted.

Important: An ‘Electrical Installation Certificate’ (EIC) may be accepted in lieu of an EICR, but only under certain and specific circumstances. These can include the following:

    • Where a full rewire of the property concerned, has been completed within the last 5 years.
    • And where the ‘EIC’ includes a full schedule of inspection of test results, for all circuits
    • And where the electrician carrying out the rewire is suitably 3rd party accredited, registered to carry out installation work and can ‘self-certify’ under Part P of the Building Regulations.

Acceptance of EICs in lieu of EICRs, will be at the discretion of the Local Housing Authority.


Last Updated on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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