Since 1 April 2021, it has become mandatory for an electrician to inspect all electrical installations in privately rented properties and produce an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) at least every five years. The EICR will either certify that the electrical installations are safe or that further investigation or repair work is required. The mandatory electrical safety checks will not apply to long leases (more than 7 years) or those with live-in landlords.
A copy of the EICR must be given to the tenants within four weeks of the report being produced and before their tenancy begins. If the property has been built or rewired in the last five years, landlords can provide their tenants with an electrical installation certificate to avoid having to re-test the property.
Failure to carry out safety checks or implement repairs can lead to an investigation by the local authority and a penalty fine of up to £30,000. In addition, a landlord may face liability for a claim from the tenant. Crucially for landlords, as things currently stand a failure to carry out safety checks or implement repair work will not prevent a landlord serving a valid section 21 notice to recover possession. However, several legislative commentators are suggesting that the position could be reconsidered in the future to be akin to rules relating gas safety certification (i.e. landlord in breach unable to serve a valid section 21 notice).
For more information about how the mandatory electrical safety checks will affect your tenanted property, please contact our dedicated Residential Landlord & Tenant team on 01392 207020.