Landlords with properties in England have already had to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in order to let their English properties from 1st July 2020. This requirement will extend to all tenancies in England from 1st April 2021.
The First Deadline: 1st July 2020
From the 1st of July 2020, any landlord who had wanted to let their property through a new tenancy would have to obtain an EICR report for the property. EICR are designed to ensure the electrical safety for the benefit of all involved parties. they involve various checks ensure that all electrical installations in the property, such as light fixtures and electrical sockets, are safe before the tenant moves in. Properties that pass the EICR checks & tests get a certification to corroborate that, which is valid for five years. When the certificate expires, a new one will need to be obtained.
Landlords must supply a copy to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection. They must also retain a copy so that they can supply one to their local authority if asked, and also so they can supply one to the next assessor when the time comes to renew their report. Landlords must also supply a copy of the most recent report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of it being requested in writing.
What happens if I don’t get an EICR
Landlords who fail to conduct an EICR (and any work it recommends) before a new tenancy commences face a fine of up to £30,000. Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new rules, as specified under the Housing Act 2004.
Local authorities can also arrange remedial action if repairs and improvements recommended in the reports are not made. After receiving a notice of remedial action, landlords will have 28 days to have the work undertaken unless it is an urgent notice. A shorter timeframe may be given in this case.
What If My Property Failed the Checks?
If an EICR report on a property uncovers a safety issue that requires work or repairs to be rectified, this work must be done by a qualified person (e.g. an electrician) within 28 days, unless the report specifies the work must be performed sooner.
The qualified person must then provide the landlord with written confirmation that the safety measures have now been met or details of the further work required. This written confirmation has to then be provided to each tenant within 28 days of the initial work being completed. It must also be provided, along with a copy of the original report to the local housing authority within 28 days of the further work.
The Second Deadline: 1st April 2021
From 1st April 2021, these above rules will apply to all tenancies. This means that landlords will have to ensure that their property -or properties- have all had an up to date EICR check -meaning that they still have a valid certificate to show that. The landlords then have 28 days to serve the tenants with a copy of the report. If work is recommended in the report, then it must be performed.