RS | Advice for Contractors and Landlords

ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN THE RENTED SECTOR   

To improve levels of safety in rental properties, legislation relating to regular mandatory Electrical Safety Checks is being introduced at a varying pace across the UK.  
 
While the requirements differ across the UK, the methods used to check and report are the same. The Electrical Safety Check and the resulting Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) are the activities and outputs used to help keep properties and tenants safe.  

So, what is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)?
An EICR is the report produced during the Electrical Safety Check.

Why are they important?
EICRs are used to confirm the suitability of the electrical installation for continued use.

Who can carry out an Electrical Safety Check?
Checks must be carried out by a competent person, such as those certificated with NICEIC to undertake inspections*.

To help landlords and letting agents in England & Wales find competent businesses, the Government signposts the Registered Competent Persons Electrical Website **. To appear on this website, businesses must be certificated by a certification body such as NICEIC.

How often does a property need to be inspected and what needs to be included?
NICEIC recommends that Electrical Safety Checks in the Rented Sector are conducted at least every 5 years or earlier if the previous EICR recommends a change to the schedule.  However, legislations differ around the UK.  To learn more please see below.


*Landlords can employ a business who is not shown on the Registered Competent Persons Electrical Website. However, it is then the sole responsibility of that landlord to verify the technical competence, qualifications, experience level and insurance cover of the chosen business and the landlord may also have to complete a checklist confirming this.

**The Registered Competent Persons Electrical Website only covers businesses operating in England and Wales. 

Private landlords in England must ensure an Electrical Safety Check of their property is carried out at least every five years by a competent person.

 
What the Electrical Safety Check must cover: 
  •  The electrical installation

NOTE: The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) also recommends that landlords ensures portable appliance testing (PAT) is carried out regularly on any electrical appliance they provide as a part of the rental. 
 

Social Rented Sector

The legislation does not yet cover social landlords. However, the DLUHC are currently undertaking a review of this situation and legislation may be brought forward in the future.


Private and Social landlords in Scotland must ensure an Electrical Safety Check of their property is carried out at least every five years by a competent person.

Short-Term-Lets (STLs)

From April 1 2024, all host of STLs must ensure an Electrical Safety Check of their property is carried out at least every five years by a competent person.


What the Electrical Safety Check must cover: 
  • The electrical Installation

  • Electrical fixtures and fittings

  • Any appliances provided by the hosts.


From December 1, 2022 Private and Social landlords in Wales must ensure an Electrical Safety Check of their property is carried out at least every five years by a competent person.


What the Electrical Safety Check must cover: 
  • The electrical Installation

Regular Electrical Safety Checks in the Rented sector are currently not mandatory in Northern Ireland but are strongly recommended both by Electrical Safety First, NICEIC and the broader industry. 

Earlier this year the Private Tenancies Bill was passed which paves the way for legislation to be introduced in the future.

 
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