Landlord Electrical Safety Regulations / Certificates (England & Wales)

Landlord Electrical Safety Regulations For Rentals In England & Wales

Ahh, it must be time to discuss a shiny new incoming regulation, because the eager-beavers are blowing up my inbox, thirsty for my unqualified thoughts on the matter.

In this blog post I’m going to attempt to cover a general overview of electrical safety for landlords in England & Wales, which includes the new ‘Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ (i.e. the requirement of a electrical safety certificate) but also other existing regulations covering electrical safety that you should be paying attention to.

The good news is, the latest update is super simple to understand and will improve safety, the bad news is… it’s going to cost you where it hurts. Thank God we’re not in the middle of a global economic meltdown, whereby tenants are not being encouraged to avoid paying rent and/or isolating, otherwise this could have been catastrophic timing to splurge.

Right, so hold onto your knickers, this is going to be crazy fun.

Before we kick off, please note that I’m going to write this blog post from the perspective that the new regulation has already come into play, because that will save me from having to jump back into this gigantic snooze-fest to make the necessary updates when the 1st of July rolls around (the date of which many will need to act by).

Oh, and of course, the obligatory legal disclaimer: I’m not a legal professional in any shape or form, I’m just sharing my opinion on a matter relevant to my biz! You should definitely seek independent advice from a qualified professional to ensure you meet your landlord obligations!

Ok, here we go…

Gosh, this is going to be utterly horrible.

Table of contents:

Do landlords need an Electrical Safety Certificate/Report?

HMOs in England & Wales have required electrical safety certificates for as long as I can remember. You’ll almost certainly need one if you have an HMO rental property (but I won’t be covering electrical safety in HMOs specifically in this blog post).

And now, since 1st July 2020, private residential landlords of even single-let properties in England also require the same electrical safety certificates. For now, landlords in Wales have been spared – they’re not legally required to acquire one for their single-let rental properties.

Electrical Safety Regulations For Landlords in England (Overview)

Under Common Law and various statutory regulations there is an obligation for landlords to ensure that all electrical instalments and provided appliances in private rented accommodation is in safe working order, which are covered in the following regulations:

Mandatory Electrical Safety Certificate/Report & Inspection for Landlords

With the introduction of the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, landlords need to ensure the ‘fixed’ electrical installations in their rented properties are routinely inspected and tested. This will require a ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ (EICR) provided by a qualified and competent person.

So, listen. I’m going to avoid diving into the nitty-gritty of this new regulation, but I will try and provide you with an overview of the need-to-knows, and then if you’re still clamouring for further knowledge (cause, why wouldn’t you?), you can indulge by reading the official Gov Guidelines on the new regulation. To be honest, most of the information about the reg update will be copy/pasted from there anyways, because surprisingly – and believe me, I’m rather shocked by ut – they seem to have broken the mould by providing a pretty clear and concise guide.

Anyways…

To reiterate, this regulation ensures safety checks of only ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, the socket-outlets (plug sockets), the light fittings and the fuse box. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors.

To comply with the regulation, landlords of privately rented accommodation must ensure the following:

  • National standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • To have your rental property inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years. Most qualified electricians will offer a EICR service.
  • To obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • To supply a copy of the report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • To supply a copy of the report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • To supply a copy of the report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • If requested, to supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days.
  • To retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • To supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.

This regulation will apply to all tenancies whereby a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent. It also applies to HMOs in England, which means it replaces the electrical safety duties specified in the ‘The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006

However, it’s also worth noting that HMOs require licenses from the local council, and they still have the power to add other conditions to your licence, which may include more safety requirements specific to electricity.

The regulation does NOT apply to the following:

  • Social housing
  • Lodgers
  • those on a long lease of 7 years or more
  • student halls of residence
  • hostels and refuges
  • care homes
  • hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.

Definition of “qualified and competent person”

According to the Gov guidelines:

When commissioning an inspection, in order to establish if a person is qualified and competent landlords can:

  • check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme; or
  • require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.

Certainly not particularly clear or useful.

Basically, a qualified and reputable electrician.

Key dates / when the regulation will apply

  • Apply to all new tenancies in England from 1st July 2020
  • Apply to all existing tenancies in England from 1st April 2021

Yes, that’s right, if you plan on signing a new tenancy with new or existing tenants from 1st of July, you’ll need to bag yourself an EICR.

If you already have an EICR

If you already have an EICR which was conducted less than 5 years ago, it will be considered valid until the 5 years has expired.

Periodic/rolling contracts…

Someone on Twitter actually asked me about how this regulation impacts periodic tenancies. Shout out to a Ms Fiona!

Whether or not a ‘periodic’ tenancy is a new tenancy, will depend on the type of tenancy issued:

  • For ‘contractual periodic tenancies‘ – this is where it is written in the original tenancy agreement that on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will become periodic – the periodic tenancy will be part of the same tenancy and no new tenancy will be created.
  • For ‘statutory periodic tenancies‘ – this is where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy will be a new tenancy.

Essentially, if you have a ‘statutory periodic tenancy’, the new regulation will apply and you will need a report by 1st July 2020. If the fixed-term expires between July 2020 and April 2021, you will be required to get a report.

Many tenancy agreements do actually state that the tenancy will become periodic if a new contract is not signed after the fixed term, so they will be ‘contractual’. For example, my tenancy agreement has the following clause:

14.2 If the Tenant stays in the Property after the Tenancy has expired then a statutory periodic tenancy shall arise.

I recommend checking your tenancy agreement to unearth the reality.

Where you can get a Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)/Inspection

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) Example

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) Example

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a formal document that is produced following an assessment of the electrical installation within a property. They’re also commonly referred to as “Electrical Safety Certificates” (I’ve been switching between the two in this blog post, just to confuse you). They must be carried out by an experienced qualified electrician or approved contractor.

Your local electrician should be able to assist with an inspection/report.

Alternatively, LettingAProperty.com make it easy…

SupplierPriceNotes / Includes
Price
£209*Inc VAT
Notes / Includes

  • Fully accredited engineers
  • Part P building requirements
  • Fault find & diagnostics
  • Required every 5 years as of July 2020

*£159 if property inside M25.

More Info

Be careful with quotes from local suppliers, because I know many electricians have started ballooning their prices due to the surge in demand for the reports. MotherF*&%&*^%’s

What the electrical inspection involves

  • Electrical installations are overloaded
  • Checks for any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • Checks for defective electrical work
  • Checks for a lack of earthing or bonding – these are 2 ways of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations.

The regulations do not currently require electrical appliances to be tested, only the ‘fixed’ electrical installations.

What if the electrical safety test fails?

If the report shows that remedial work or further investigation is required, landlords must complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report. Landlords must then provide written confirmation that the work has been carried out to their tenant.

EICR Acknowledgement Form

I’ve added an ‘EICR acknowledgement Form’ to my arsenal of acknowledgement forms (all available from here), because the regulation requires landlords to supply a copy to tenants. In order to protect myself, I’m going to make my tenants sign the form, which confirms that they have been provided with a copy.

It’s not that I don’t trust people, it’s just that I don’t trust people.









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Electrical appliances safety / PAT testing in Rentals

Portable Appliance Testing (commonly known as ‘PAT’, ‘PAT Inspection’ or ‘PAT Testing’) is a process in which portable electrical appliances (as opposed to ‘fixed’) are checked for safety, which includes kettles, fridges, dishwashers and washing machines.

While landlords are responsible for ensuring all electrical appliances supplied with the property are in safe working order throughout the tenancy, there is currently no legal requirement for single-let landlords in England to conduct any specific reports or tests on appliances.

Perhaps the most effective way to help ensure electrical safety requirements have been met, is by either providing brand new appliances at the start of a tenancy (which isn’t practical or economical for most cases) or conducting routine PAT tests. PAT testing is recommended every time a tenancy ends and before renting to new tenants, but honestly, I don’t believe most landlords do this (although, I’m not saying sidestepping the process is the wisest decision).

PAT testing isn’t particularly expensive (you can expect to pay about £50 – £80, which includes the testing of about 10-20 appliances), and they’re recommended if you provide electric appliances with your property. As with EICRs, you should be able contact your local qualified electrician to arrange a PAT test, or…

SupplierPriceNotes / Includes
Price
£69Inc VAT
Notes / Includes

  • Appliances safety checked
  • Visual inspection & earth test
  • Replace plug tops & fuses
  • Recommended every 12 months
More Info

General electrical safety measures

Landlords are advised to make regular visual inspections (i.e. in-between tenancies and during inspections) to help identify and minimise risks. So here are a few safety procedures that you may want to apply:

  • Keep supplied appliances to a minimum. This is critical in my opinion! So many single-let landlords provide junk like kettles and toasters for no apparent reason, and all it does is increase risk for literally zero reward!
  • Ensure that all fuses are of the correct type and rating.
  • Make sure appliances supplied are complete and in working order.
  • Ensure that flexes are in good order and properly attached to appliances and plugs.
  • Ensure that earth tags are in place.
  • Make a note of all fuse ratings on the inventory.
  • Ensure that plugs are of an approved type with sleeved live and neutral pins.
  • Pay particular attention to second hand equipment – always have these items checked.
  • Ensure that operating instructions and safety warning notices are supplied with the appliances.
  • Make sure that tenants know the location of and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch.

Electrical Safety Regulations For Landlords in Wales (Overview)

Any Welsh landlords up in here? If so, don’t worry, I’ve also got you covered. But only because nothing has changed for you. it’s still same-same, the new regulation that landlords in England are subject to doesn’t apply to you, so I already had the information written up. In any case, let’s not lock-horns over the why’s, the important thing is I have plenty of food for all.

There are no statutory obligation for landlords in Wales to have professional checks carried out on electrical systems or appliances for single-let propertiess. However, as expected, you are obligated to ensure that all electrical instalments and provided appliances in private rented accommodation is in safe working order, which are covered in:

Electrical appliances safety / PAT testing in Rentals

PAT testing is not a legal requirement, but it is recommended. The same guidelines I covered above for landlords in England apply.

General electrical safety measures

Again, the same guidelines I covered above for landlords in England apply.

Seeeesh-kebab, thank the F’ing lord that’s over. That was miserable.

If I missed anything out, made a balls-up, or if you have anything further to add, please feel free to pick-up the mic…

Love & Peace xo

P.s. you may notice some terribly old comments below, don’t be alarmed! I have repurposed an old blog post on electrical safety and given it a spruce up and dragged it back to the front line in light of the latest update. Much of the original content is still very relevant so remains intact (particularly for my Welsh brothers and sisters).

208 Join the Conversation...

Showing 158 - 208 comments (out of 208)
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 20th June, 2020 @ 10:08

@Mike
Yup, terrible timing, not just because of the added expense, but also the access issues (due to lockdown/isolation), which I'm sure many landlords will face. You'd think the Government would postpone it.

I also didn't realise how scatty and unregulated the electrical industry is. It's been eye-opening reading the feedback from the two electricians that left comments.

Biggest takeaway: a "Part P" qualification alone is garbage, although it sounds like it's sufficient enough to comply with the regulations.

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Guest Avatar
Mike 21st June, 2020 @ 17:02

I noticed no one has commented on another aspect of the electrical safety regs.

If you read section 2 of 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 it says “Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’”

Does this mean that installations have to comply with the 18th edition of the wiring regs when they get their EICR certificate? If so, this seems to me to be a big problem – the 18th Edition only came in in 2019 and houses built prior to that (i.e. a lot of the housing stock) are unlikely to comply with the 18th Edition, although they may well be perfectly electrically safe.

You can just see it – a possession case comes before a judge who checks that you have properly provided the How to Rent Guide, EPC certificate, Deposit Protection Certificate and EICR etc, etc – i.e. you have done it all correctly.

Then the tenant turns round and says “you can’t evict me”, the EICR didn’t show the electrics were compliant with the 18th Edition.

Being electrically safe and complying with the 18th Edition aren’t the same thing and the government website conflates/confuses the two issues.

I foresee future grief over this.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

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Guest Avatar
Mike 21st June, 2020 @ 17:25

Mr Landlord in your post 19th June 2020 12.43 on contractual vs. statutory tenancy, you quote “14.2 If the Tenant stays in the Property after the Tenancy has expired then a statutory periodic tenancy shall arise.” and then say “So it's clear that it's contractual.”

That doesn’t look right to me – I think if you have such wording in your tenancy agreement then you clearly have a statutory tenancy.

My understanding is that tenancy agreements default to being statutory agreements unless there is wording in the agreement like “If we allow you to remain in the Property after the fixed term has expired then the Tenancy will continue as a contractual periodic tenancy in accordance with the Housing Act 1988 (as amended).”

The problem is that if the property is on a statutory agreement, when the initial fixed term runs out, if you allow the tenant to continue in the property, then a NEW agreement is deemed to have started upon expiry of the fixed term which means you have to reissue all the paperwork as if this were a new tenancy i.e. the How to Rent Guide, the Deposit Protection Certificate, the EPC, the EICR etc.

So if you have “statutary” wording and a contract whose fixed term ends on (say) 1st July 2020 and it rolls over with the tenant in place then a new tenancy is deemed to have been started and, together with all the other paperwork, an EICR has to be issued.

On the other hand if you had “contractual” wording, the tenancy could be rolled over without needing to provide all the paperwork again and without needing an EICR as a new tenancy is not deemed to have been created – the EICR would become due by 1st April 2021 in the contractual case.

At least the above is how I understand it.

160
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st June, 2020 @ 17:32

@Mike
I could be wrong, but while the 18th Edition may have come into effect in 2019, I believe a lot of the stuff in there was from previous editions anyways. A new edition doesn't necessarily mean all the standards have changed. So I wouldn't get too caught up on the fact it was released in 2019.

For example, one of the differences between the 17th edition and the 18th, is:

"The scope has been extended to include an extra category (section 730 catering for electrical shore connections & inland navigation vessels)."

Can't imagine that would apply to BTLs.

Moreover, even rewording and using new definitions can be part of a new edition.

161
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 21st June, 2020 @ 17:37

@Mike

I'm confused.

For ‘contractual periodic tenancies‘ – this is where it is written in the original tenancy agreement that on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will become periodic

How is not contractual if the clause says the tenancy will become periodic after the fixed term:

14.2 If the Tenant stays in the Property after the Tenancy has expired then a statutory periodic tenancy shall arise.

162
Guest Avatar
Mike 21st June, 2020 @ 18:25

Answer - because your second quote explicitly states the tenancy as being statutory.

163
Guest Avatar
gary 21st June, 2020 @ 19:42

@mike
Yes we are currently on 18th edition.
But that doesn’t mean everything that was installed to the 17th edition is now non-compliant.

There is no requirement to retrospectively bring everything up to the current regs.
However new work will have to be compliant to whatever the current regs and amendment is.

The electrical regulations are not “law”.
They are a British Standard.
However they are used as a baseline to prove competency and compliance should the shit hit the fan and someone die or a house burn down. .

164
Guest Avatar
Mike 21st June, 2020 @ 22:32

@Gary, I get what you say. I understand all that.

My point is really simple - read section 2 of 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#the-inspection

Does it or does it not say that an installation has to be to the 18th Edition standard?

I think the government has unwittingly drafted words which could be very onerous for landlords.

165
Guest Avatar
Eric 21st June, 2020 @ 22:53

Mike, no one is saying that it doesn't say that. We understand it says 18th edition.

No, that wasn't your point. Your point was that the 18th edition was released in 2019 so "houses are unlikely to comply" That was your point, it wasn't that you're simply saying it says "18th edition" (which no one was disputing, and it even says it in the blog post so you didn't need to dig it out of the guidelines). Youre reading way too much into the whole "18th edition" thing and creating a conspiracy theory.

Why would the Gov tell us to meet the standards of a legacy standard and not the latest?

People are saying that the 17th isn't much different from the 18th and just because it was released last year it doesn't mean houses are unlikely to meet standards. I imagine there isn't groundbreaking differences from the 16th either.

They bring out new editions of the Oxford english dictionary all the time and all they do is add one or two new words, it doesn't mean the entire language has changed.

166
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adam 22nd June, 2020 @ 13:20

How often does it EICR need to be done? ......There are no strict guidelines?
(My old neighbours electrics are over 60 years old!)

https://www.howsy.com/blog/electrical-installation-condition-report/

167
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd June, 2020 @ 13:31

@adam

Here's what it says in the actual regulation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/regulation/3/made

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b) “at regular intervals” means—

(a)at intervals of no more than 5 years; or
(b)where the most recent report under sub-paragraph (3)(a) requires such inspection and testing to be at intervals of less than 5 years, at the intervals specified in that report.

There's definitely strict guidelines. At least every 5 years.

168
Guest Avatar
Gary 22nd June, 2020 @ 13:56

Hi.
I’ve been a little slow on the uptake of this.
Apologies.
And I’ve commented on some items but not necessarily the meat and bones.
If the regulation is stating that houses need to comply with 18th edition then yes.
Some older houses... specifically any pre17th edition may well have some pain.
The 17th edition brought in RCD protection for all cables concealed in walls. So that’s ALL houses. (unless Cables are deeper than 2” and some other bits and bobs). Which meant that in most houses ALL circuits needed RCD protection.
A further reg stated that that in the event an RCD tripping, the entire house should NOT be plunged into darkness... A split load board with two RCDs is pretty much the minimum standard.
I’m afraid I can’t see many houses that DONT have a split board with everything covered with RCDs being able to pass an EICR without a consumer unit upgrade.

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Guest Avatar
Mark 22nd June, 2020 @ 16:47

@The Landlord

'Paul said he paid £500 for EACH, not for 2.'

Without context we have no way of knowing whether it's expensive or not. The cost will mostly depend on the number of consumer units and circuits (which is why having a fixed price is poor practice). Is the property split into bedsits? Is it an HMO? Does the £500 cost quoted include remedial work? I'd be amazed if he's paid £500 for a bog standard EICR. Location is also a factor. In London, a £500 day rate isn't particulary expensive and a proper EICR can easily be a days work. Without this information we can't draw any conclusions, yet it's interesting to see that your initial response was to think it was not just expensive, but way too expensive.

I agree that standards are low across the board, and I also agree that most landlords will just want the EICR done and in their hand. I've no problem with that, it's not landlord's responsibility to police the electrical industry, my issue is with the disdain most landlords have for trades charging proper rates for proper jobs and how they're so quick and willing to go for the cheap option and use ignorance as an excuse. How many of the landlords reading this thread will make sure of proper testing in future and be happy to pay the extra? My suspiscion is that the majority will still just go for the cheapest even though they know it's probably crap.

@Benji Thank you for giving me a PERFECT example of a couple of points I've made.

Point One - 90 minutes to carry out an EICR? Not in a million years. When I was working for a reputable specialist testing company in the early 2000's we were pricing at 30 minutes per circuit, plus 30 minutes per consumer unit to get a total price. This was before the 17th and 18th edition brought widespread RCD's into the equation meaning we could actually do more it that time than today. At that rate the average one bed flat (especially a modern one) would take at least 3-4 hours for one man. To do it in 90 minutes including chatting time means one of two things... either Speedy Gonzalez is your electrician, or, like the vast majority, they haven't done it properly.

Point 2 - £140 is bad enough, but at £100 for 90 minutes work, you are I suspect, very much getting what you pay for. For a supposedly professional electrician doing extremely specialist work, £100 for 90 minutes is too cheap. I've had my own business and been at every stage from sole trader to having 4 lads working and 2 vans on the road. I know the industry inside out and I know the overheads that trades have to pay out on a constant basis that most people don't even consider, and I can categorically tell you that at those prices his margins are wafer thin.

This goes back to a comment I made previously about how most trades are extremely bad at the business side of things. It has absolutely nothing to do with how good they are at their job, charging £100 for an EICR is the act of someone who is either desperate, who doesn't know what they're doing, or has no scruples and is trying to make a quick buck. He may not even know that he's barely making any money. In my experience lots of people live hand to mouth for years without ever working out why they're always skint. I know from your point of view you have the EICR covered and that's all you're bothered about, but don't delude yourself that you're getting a professional job or that electricians charging a proper rate for a proper job are 'too expensive'. They're not, because they're selling a superior service.

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Guest Avatar
Benji 22nd June, 2020 @ 20:49

@Mark,

Point 1. I'd happily pay them double -not that they'd ever charge it.
Point 2. They'd piss all over your white van lads in knowledge, qualifications & experience.
Point 3. They quite probably even taught you.
Point 4. This will now be decided by fuckwit lawyers because of the abject failure of your industry.

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Guest Avatar
Benji 22nd June, 2020 @ 21:04

"I can categorically tell you that at those prices his margins are wafer thin."

I can categorically tell you that by re-checking the tens of £1000's of work they've done for me in the past is fuck-all in comparison.

And I don't begrudge them a penny.

A quick buck versus a lifetime's mutually beneficent relationship.

172
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd June, 2020 @ 21:09

Plus, you're a delight to work for, and you actually chat with them... so there's a lot more than just money being exchanged here.

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Guest Avatar
Oliver 23rd June, 2020 @ 10:32

I'm looking at my AST's and its not obvious if it is a contractual or statutory tenancy. if it helps, I used Openrent to create all my AST's.

Any pointers? Thanks in advance, Oliver

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Guest Avatar
Dan 23rd June, 2020 @ 13:55

I did get one though for just £60 and actually booked online so I also saved up a lot of time too.

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Guest Avatar
Eric 23rd June, 2020 @ 21:17

Oliver, if it's not obvious, I would presume it's not contractual.

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Guest Avatar
Danny 24th June, 2020 @ 07:05

Oliver,

Here’s what I think.

If you have tenancy contract which makes no reference to what happens after the initial fixed term ends and if the tenant continues in residence after the fixed term, then a statutory periodic tenancy would be created which counts as a new tenancy starting immediately after the fixed term ends - meaning all the paperwork like How to Rent, EPCs, EICRs etc has to be reissued to the tenant.

But if the contract has words covering the post fixed term period, then because it is mentioned in the contract, after the fixed term ends I reckon it would generally become a contractual periodic tenancy.

As an example, the NLA tenancy agreement has wording which spells it out, saying that post the fixed term period it becomes a contractual periodic tenancy.

The agreement on the Openrent website doesn’t spell it out quite so clearly but clause 12 does talk about lapsing into a periodic tenancy after the fixed term so I reckon the agreement probably creates a contractual periodic tenancy.

But what do I know?

177
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 24th June, 2020 @ 12:12

@Danny
Pretty sure you don't need to reserve EPCs or EICRs if the tenancy becomes periodic.

You do, however, need to serve the How to rent guide if a new version is released.

The agreement on the Openrent website doesn’t spell it out quite so clearly but clause 12 does talk about lapsing into a periodic tenancy after the fixed term so I reckon the agreement probably creates a contractual periodic tenancy.

If that's the case, then I agree.

178
Guest Avatar
Danny 24th June, 2020 @ 13:10

Landlord, Oliver

This link explains the differences between statutory and periodic tenancies -

https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/contractual-and-statutory-periodic-tenancies.shtml

It pretty much confirms that the Openrent agreement goes contractual periodic at the end of the fixed term.

On a tenancy going statutory periodic, you would certainly have to reissue the How to rent guide if it has been updated.

Personally, I would reissue all the paperwork at that point just to be sure.

179
Guest Avatar
Borrieboy 25th June, 2020 @ 09:35

For what it's worth (and NRLA membership at £120 p.a. may or may not be) I called their "legal advice line" regarding the whole contractual vs. statutory AST periodic roll-over business and EICRs - i.e. whether a periodic AST reqs an EICR on 1/7/20 or whether next April would be OK.

Their advice was that an AST that has rolled over into a periodic wouldn't need an EICR this July and next April would be fine - and there was no mention of any wording differences in the original AST that might direct a landlord towards one or other date.

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Guest Avatar
Danny 25th June, 2020 @ 21:06

Borrieboy
If it has rolled over into a periodic tenancy of either type before 1st July 2020 then I agree an EICR is not needed until 1st April 2021.

The wrinkle is that if a tenancy rolls over to a STATUTORY PERIODIC tenancy on or after 1st July 2020 an EICR is required on the date of the rollover but if it rolls over to a CONTRACTUAL PERIODIC tenancy the EICR is not needed until 1st April 2021.

181
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th June, 2020 @ 21:09

Borrieboy, I'm a bit confused by what the NRLA adviced, but maybe I didn't understand completely.

Either way, I agree with what Danny just said.

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Guest Avatar
Danny 26th June, 2020 @ 04:15

Landlord
The confusion is probably due to the fact that NRLA only half answered the question.

NRLA was correct in what it said about tenancies that had gone periodic before 1st July but didn’t address what happens with tenancies which flip on or after 1st July.

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Borrieboy 26th June, 2020 @ 07:48

Landlord

The focus of my question to the NRLA was to try and elicit from them if there was any difference in the reqmnt to have an EICR based on the wording in one's original AST agreement e.g. when it goes into "periodical". The whole "statutory & contractual" thing that was being discussed in earlier posts. I made it clear to NRLA that all of my tenancies were now long into "periodic" - and as I said before, there was no qualification in their advice around dates that an EICR was needed... i.e. April 21 was fine. No mention of any wording differences in the original AST that might lead you to need an EICR in July 20.

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The Landlord 26th June, 2020 @ 08:19

I think I'm confused by the confusion, because I think the Gov's guidelines are quite clear when it comes to periodic tenancies and EICRs, so why would you try and override it with the NRLA's advice?

The only "statutory & contractual" thing which was discussed (between myself and Mike), was whether the TA clause needs to say "contractual" in order to be contractual (I don't believe it does). The uncertainty wasn't between the dates - because they are quite clear in my opinion, so that's why I'm confused.

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Borrieboy 27th June, 2020 @ 12:14

Landlord

The only (maybe just mine) confusion was about whether a tenancy, which had gone periodic prior to 1/6/20, had to have an EICR by 1/7/20 or by 1/4/21. The way I understood it was that certain AST wording about post “fixed term” (statutory or contractual) could mean a reqmnt. to put an EICR in place now rather than next year. The point in talking to the NRLA wasn’t to override anything, it was merely to get a view from them, seeing as I pay them £120 p.a. for the privilege. 🙂

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samtheman 29th June, 2020 @ 10:33

hi, i had a EICR last year, there was a code 3 recommendation, my understanding is that only code 1 or 2 recommendations need remediation, a code 3 is only advisory so the current EICR should be okay?

thanks!

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Bob the landlord 30th June, 2020 @ 00:53

Some of the comments on this forum further my theory that when some bandits leave prison, they become 'Tradespersons'

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Pete 2nd July, 2020 @ 15:37

The comments above show this is already a contentious issue and I dont want to fan any flames but I am interested if there is any clarity yet in the regulations being retrospective or not. Our inspection has noted the upstairs circuits (including bathroom with a 240V fan that apparently needs changing to 12V) are not on the RCD side of the consumer unit and put both of these as C2. The circuits and fittings have never been altered since the house was built so do we have to play "catch up" with the regs? If so I suspect there will be year on year work required (The EICR has given a 1 year requirement for re testing) as the regulations change so I need to budget for this .

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Benji 2nd July, 2020 @ 21:43

@Pete,

A bit difficult to say exactly on the limited information you've given but I'd be very inclined to kick him up the arse and never ever employ the scamming prick again.

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Diana 9th July, 2020 @ 16:58

My electrician is saying that I have to have a metal fuse box in order for it to pass the EICR report. Is this correct?

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Diana 9th July, 2020 @ 18:21

Does the fuse box have to be metal in order to pass the EICR regs.

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Brad 10th July, 2020 @ 17:55

Can anybody please confirm whether RCD's would need to be replaced to dual RCD's in a rented property in order to pass a EIRC certificate

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Danny 11th July, 2020 @ 06:45

Diana

I disagree with your electrician.

In completing an EICR, there are 23 checks that have to be done specifically concerning the consumer unit (these are in section 4 of the EICR test report).

Verifying that the consumer unit is made of metal is not one of the checks.

Danny

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Rex 7th August, 2020 @ 10:36

Hi,
I have just signed a new AST for a property that I have moved into with the start date of the 7th.
The agency tells me on the 7th that the EICR is unsatisfactory and will be fixed within a week.
The EICR was done a week ago, so I am guessing COVID has played into the timelines.
Has the landlord now breached his legal obligations? What are my options in this matter.
I plan to take the keys today but only move in 10 days time, so presumably the EICR would be satisfactory by then.
There are 3 items under C2, 1 item under C3 and a smoke alarm marked as OBV

Thanks,

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GriffMG 16th September, 2020 @ 10:49

We are right in the middle of this now. Two flats up for EICR, one has gotten away with a new consumer unit. Got the electricians to do that before the EICR so they couldn't fail the report after that. Total cost 500 ish.

Second flat is probably older, has no separate earthing (relies on the steel conduits to each socket etc.) thus cannot pass - so, this morning they started chasing out for entirely new cabling throughout. Luckily the flat it empty at the moment, or this would be horrible for the tenant - would we have had to put them up in a hotel or something? I do not know. Total cost 5,000 ish should be replastered by Sunday, then just got to decorate it front-to-back, top-to-bottom for the THIRD time in as many years.

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GriffMG 30th September, 2020 @ 13:51

Second flat took nearly a week longer than expected to rewire, and I'm still decorating, it is hard to cover the chased bits and sparkys are a bit heavy handed with coving and stuff. The flat is way better for being done.

Third flat needed a new consumer unit too, the old one was nearly new, but had no electrocution protection built in... had to be done by today.

Got a month before the next one, and that should also be just a consumer unit job.

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Steve 8th October, 2020 @ 11:33

Just had an EICR done and the report states the next one is due in no more than 5 years or at the next change of tenancy whichever is sooner.

I was shocked to see the "change of tenancy" bit.

Electician says there is a new rule/law coming in which requires this.

Found at least one site on the web supporting this.
Gov website says 5 years and no mention of "change of tenancy".
Letting agent says its 5 years.

I have found out that your legal obligation as a landlord is to follow whatever the electrician says on the report for the next check.

So it's a matter of who is right as to whether I can get them to take it off of the report.

Any ideas?

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The Landlord 8th October, 2020 @ 11:53

Hi @Steve
Not really sure why your electrician is citing or relying on something that isn't law yet. To be honest, that's the first I've heard of requiring a new report when changing tenancy.

My gut tells me he is talking nonsense, or has misunderstood something! We could change tenants in the space of 1 week, or 1 - 6 months, so that wouldn't make any sense. Not even a gas safety certificate renewal is required at the change of a tenancy.

I have found out that your legal obligation as a landlord is to follow whatever the electrician says on the report for the next check.

My interpretation of that statement is, if a electrician has any recommendations or reason to conduct another check sooner than 5 years, then it's based on specific circumstances of the property and its electricals, and it's not a blanket rule saying we all need to get a new report every time there is a change in tenancy.

I would personally rely on what the law says today, not what your electrician is saying.

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Steve 8th October, 2020 @ 12:04

Hi @The Landlord

Wow super quick response, i thought maybe my comment would sit unnoticed. Kudos to you sir!

I think he actually said it was a new rule as opposed to one coming in.

Anyway you can see from the links/excerpts below there appears to be something in what he's saying.

I don't really understand the hierarchy if i'm honest I think its something like:

Gov-->Requires landlords to have EICR--> Must meet the 18th Wiring bla de bla which i think is a British standard.

In which case does the recommended by BS make it mandatory for LL? (Oh the world of pain that this is!)

https://www.alliedelectrical.co.uk/electrical-installation-condition-reports-explained

BTL or Rented Homes - Under the ‘Landlord and Tenants Act (1985) landlords must ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is maintained safely throughout a tenancy. To ensure this, BS7671 recommend an EICR test at change of tenancy or at least every 5 years.

https://sparksdirect.blog/a-simple-guide-to-electrical-installation-condition-reports-eicr/
It is highly recommended you have an EICR inspection carried out every 10 years for your home. For rental properties, one should be carried out every 5 years or if there is a change of tenancy.

https://www.dmelectrical.rocks/eicr/
To ensure this, BS7671 - 2018 recommends that an EICR test at change of tenancy or at least every 5 years.

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Steve 8th October, 2020 @ 12:11

Bit more googling and found this on one of the electrical bodies...this is looking rather bleak..all sounds very subjective and vague which really does my head in!

So now the landlord takes on the role of the electrical inspector - what next!?

https://www.niceic.com/landlord/managing-domestic-properties/how-often-should-i-get-my-electrical-installation

How frequently should an electrical installation be inspected?
For rented accommodation, the maximum period recommended between the initial inspection (when the installation was first put into service) and the first periodic inspection and test is five years.

Periods between subsequent inspections will depend on the condition of the installation at the time of the preceding inspection, but it is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at least every five years or at the end of a tenancy, whichever comes first.

Where a change of tenancy occurs after a short period (for example less than six months) a full periodic inspection and test may not always be needed. In such cases, the landlord or their representative should always carry out a visual check to confirm that the property is safe to re-let.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th October, 2020 @ 12:14

Hi @Steve,
I've just had some coffee, so I'm currently turbo charged :)

What you're linking to seems to be only "recommendations", which isn't necessarily the same as being law. The actual law [for landlords in England] is stated in The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, which says the following:

Duties of private landlords in relation to electrical installations

3(b) ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person;

(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(b) “at regular intervals” means—

(a) at intervals of no more than 5 years; or
(b) where the most recent report under sub-paragraph (3)(a) requires such inspection and testing to be at intervals of less than 5 years, at the intervals specified in that report.

There's no mention of requiring a new report at the change of tenancy. However, as said, if your electrician has made a recommendation based on specific circumstances of the property and its electricals, then that could be another issue.

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The Landlord 8th October, 2020 @ 12:16

On a side note, it's probably in their best interest to advise getting a new report at the change of tenancy and/or every 5 years, because it means more work/money for them.

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Steve 8th October, 2020 @ 13:01

@The Landlord

Thanks for your reply.

Ok so i think i've grasped this now.

I knew I'd read that whatever the electrician states on the report as being the period for next inspection is a legal requirement. Knew I'd read it somewhere the other day....going through my internet history(!) turns out it was your post 168 above on this thread! And now you have repeated it for me above - thank you.

So given that the sparky has written that term on the report it then based on the last part of (2)(b) it becomes legally binding on the landlord. The period they quote is based on their subjective viewpoint of how long it should be.

I know we are thinking that this is supposed to be based on the condition of the installation e.g. wiring that might not last 5 years. Surely though that's an assumption on our part because previously that was the only discretionary aspect of EICRs, before the new EICR/landlord regs came in.

If the sparky knows the BS recommendations they may well write on the report "every tenancy" as it covers their backsides and as you rightly say lines their pockets again sooner. Actually seems a defensible position from their side.

I asked the sparky to remove the wording and leave it with just 5 years and they said they would IF i get the remedial work done through them.......!

Time to ring the estate agent it seems..

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The Landlord 8th October, 2020 @ 13:22

No probs.

Yup, I'm totally with you.

...they said they would IF i get the remedial work done through them.......!

Ha, that's very telling, and makes me believe he was chancing it with the recommendation of needing a new report every new tenancy.

I think it would be very difficult for any election to justify that recommendation, because there is no set term for a tenancy - so what's it based on?

If they are going to recommend overriding the 5 year renewal term, they should be able to explain and justify why. I'd also want their justification in writing.

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steve 8th October, 2020 @ 17:39

Yes does seem like there some chancing going on. What makes it worse is that this is the 2nd electrician who was chosen based on good google reviews and was supposed to be the knight in shining armour coming to the resuce after the first sparky I had do an EICR on another property got a bit creatively confused over what is a C2 vs a C3.
This whole ECIR/LL affair is a licence to print money. I do wonder if this change of tenant malarky spills over from commercial lets where it is probably much more justifable.

The first guy did explain that "it depends on how the tenant is using the property" ie have they got endless appliances and extension leads. I can indeed see that one tenant might use more power than the next but the idea that another EICR is due on that basis is frankly ridiculous. To my way of thinking the system should be good for sensible use. If a tenant wants to daisy chain 57 extension leads so they can have the electric fire over them while the sit in the bath then theres no practical way of keeping them safe.

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Tracy 6th November, 2020 @ 16:42

It's a minefield!

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GriffMG 13th November, 2020 @ 18:10

Update, if anyone is interested, one of the flats has TWO consumer units one for day and one for economy seven - that doubled the cost of updating them for the EICR.

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