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Landlord regulation update: EICR

By Foxtons

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There are a host of regulations landlords need to be aware of, and we will always ensure our landlords receive the latest information to make sure they are letting safely and within the law. The latest update relates to electrical safety within a property; The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, and applies to all landlords. From 1st July 2020 all new tenancies (including renewals) will need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and all existing tenancies will need a report from 1st April 2021. Below we answer some of the most common FAQs surrounding this regulation change to help landlords ensure they are letting within the law.

What is an EICR?

An EICR assesses the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and describes its condition. The assessment will cover consumer units (fuse boards), protective bonding, lighting, switches, sockets etc. The report will assess if the electrics meet current standards, specifically British Standard ‘BS 7671:2018’ which has been in effect since January 2019.

What is my responsibility as a landlord?

Landlords must obtain a valid EICR with a ‘satisfactory’ rating from a qualified electrician and this must be given to the prospective tenant before their tenancy agreement commences, or to existing tenants within 28 days of the electrical inspection. If a local authority requests an EICR report, it must be provided within seven calendar days.

How long is an EICR valid for?

If the condition of all of these is deemed ‘satisfactory’, the report is valid for five years and can therefore be used for future tenancies for the next five years.

What is the difference between a PAT and EICR?

A Portable Appliance Test (PAT) documents safety testing of only portable electrical appliances e.g. fridge/freezer, washing machine, toaster. An EICR assesses all the fixed electrical fittings and installation.

Why do I need an EICR on a renewal?

Under the regulations a renewal is treated as a new tenancy, so any renewals commencing from 1st July 2020 must also comply with the new regulations.

What if my EICR comes back with a rating of ‘unsatisfactory’?

Where a report rates the electrics as ‘unsatisfactory’, the regulations require the landlord to undertake further investigative or remedial work by a qualified person within 28 days, or sooner if specified in the report.

Unsatisfactory codes shown on the EICR report can include:

  • C1 Danger present, risk of injury, immediate remedial action required
  • C2 Potentially Dangerous, urgent remedial action required
  • F1 Further investigation required

What happens if I do not comply with these regulations?

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in financial penalties of up to £30,000 by the local authority.

If you have any further questions regarding an EICR, or you would like Foxtons to arrange an EICR for you, please contact us on EICR@foxtons.co.uk.

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