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Deadline for EICR checks – 1 April 2021

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 made Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) checks compulsory for all new tenancies from 1 July 2020. They will be extended to all tenancies – including existing tenancies – from 1 April 2021.

All private landlords are required to:

  • Ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during a period when the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy
  • Ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person (‘regular intervals’ is every five years, unless a report from an inspection and test specifies sooner)
  • Ensure the first inspection and testing is carried out before a new tenancy commences
  • Ensure the first inspection is carried out by 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies

EICRs must be carried out by a fully qualified and registered engineer. The engineer will issue an EICR detailing any damage, defects or dangerous conditions found.

The Report

After the inspection and testing is carried out, you must:

  • Get a report from the qualified person carrying out the inspection and test, which includes the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next one;
  • Supply a copy of the report to each existing tenant on the premises within 28 days of the inspection;
  • Supply a copy of the report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request from the authority
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the qualified person that carries out the next inspection and test
  • Supply a copy of the most recent report to new tenants and to prospective tenants who request to see it

If the Property is Unsafe

If the property is deemed unsafe, the electrical installation will be declared as “unsatisfactory” and remedial action will be required. Any remedial action must be carried out by a qualified person within 28 days of the date of inspection or within the time specified in the report if sooner.

You must then obtain written confirmation from the qualified person that this work has been carried out and the electrical safety standards have been met. This confirmation must then be supplied to the tenant and local authority, along with a copy of the original report within 28 days.

Penalties

If the local authority believe a landlord to be in breach of the duties set out by the regulations, they must serve a remedial notice to the landlord who must then carry out the action recommended. If the landlord does not comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for remedial action to be taken themselves. The local authority can recover the costs of taking the action from the landlord.

If the local authority finds that a private landlord has breached their duties under the regulations, they may issue a notice of intent to impose a financial penalty. This penalty is determined by the local authority but cannot exceed the amount of £30,000.

Next Steps – Act Now

If you don’t already have a current EICR for a property that you rent out, book an EICR as quickly as possible.

EICR are valid for 5 years. If your rental property has a valid EICR carried out within the last 5 years on 1 April 2021, you will not need to carry out a new one until that report expires. However, if you have an older report and even if it states it has a 10 year validity period, if it was carried out more than 5 years prior to 1 April 2021, it will not be valid under the current regulations and you will need to obtain a new report.

The ongoing pandemic has made organising electrical work more difficult and we understand there is a rush of landlords trying to get EICRs done in time for the deadline so there may be delays. Despite the Covid situation, the government has no plans to extend the deadline from 1 April 2021 so landlords should do their best to comply.

Posted by:

Fiona Wheeler
Solicitor

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