Changes to electrical safety inspections for residential landlords
From April 1st 2021, new laws mean that all existing residential rental properties will need an electrical safety inspection (EICR) every 5 years. The EICR highlights any urgent work which must be carried out to ensure the property is safe.
Previously, since June 2020, only new tenancies were required to have electrical safety inspections every five years. The new law now applies to all tenancies, both new and existing!
It applies to all residential tenancies with a fixed term lease of less than seven years with no break clauses. This includes properties where rent is offset against an employee’s wages and residential properties in Farm Business Tenancies and Agricultural Holdings Act agreements.
The only real exceptions are FBTs over seven years, holiday homes or seasonal worker accommodation. If a tenancy is on full repairing terms, the Landlord has a responsibility to ensure the certification is in place, even if in practice this is done by ensuring that the tenant has done it. In this scenario, communication with tenants is vital.
The responsibility falls directly on the landlord, so the head tenant is responsible where farm cottages are sub-let.
Landlords who fail to comply or who do not have necessary repairs undertaken could face fines of up to £30,000.
An EICR must be carried out by a qualified electrician and costs a landlord approximately £150 – £300 depending upon the size and location of the residential rental property. If the report is satisfactory, will not need to be repeated for another five year, unless specified on the report.