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New EICR Law Change Set To Affect Private Landlords

Posted in Electrical
Published on April 20, 2020

Earlier this year the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced new regulations concerning mandatory five-year electrical testing by private landlords. In this guide to the EICR law change, we share everything you need to know about the new update including rules around fixed wire testing and acquiring an electrical installation condition report (EIRC).


What Are The New EICR Regulations?

The UK is set to roll out new regulations making mandatory it for landlords and agents to carry out an inspection and test on all electrical installations every five years. Landlords will also need to obtain an electrical installation condition report and retain it until the next test, supplying the most up to date report to new tenants before they begin occupying the property. The rules come into effect as of July 1st 2020 for new tenancies and April 1st 2021 for existing tenancies.

The fixed wire testing and EICR must be carried out by a professional with the necessary qualifications or you face legal repercussions including financial penalties. Breaching the regulations could result in a £30,000 penalty imposed by the local housing authority. 


How To Find Qualified Electricians

Property maintenance companies like Kiasu have teams of qualified electricians who can carry out fixed wire testing and offer an EICR report. When hiring an electrician make sure to ask that they are qualified to offer an EICR. If they are not your electrical inspection and test will not meet the necessary requirements of the new regulations.


The Industries Thoughts On The New Regulations

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark commented on the new regulations saying, “We’ve had mandatory gas safety checks for years, and therefore it is logical to extend similar checks to electrical safety.” Before adding “However, there may not be enough qualified inspectors to cope with demand from the whole industry in a short period of time, and therefore we will need a long lead time so landlords can meet the requirements.”

Mr Cox’s comments seem to reflect major talking points from the industry; the vital importance of electrical safety and the need for qualified inspectors.


What Fixed Wire Testing Is (And Why It Matters)

Fixed wire testing is a combination of visual inspections and electrical tests on all systems in a building.

Over time electrical installations can deteriorate as a result of overuse, accidental damage and general wear and tear. If the deterioration gets too bad the electrical installation can pose serious risks. A damaged electrical installation could lead to shock and burns as well as cause fires or explosions which can significantly damage the property or worse the people inside. This makes it essential that fixed wire testing is carried out routinely to ensure any deterioration is identified before it causes any damage.


What An EICR Is And Why You Need One

Fixed wire testing is required to obtain an EICR. An EICR is a report which details the findings of an assessment and is used to evidence electrical safety in a building. Under the new regulations it will be the law for private landlords to provide a copy of an up to date EICR to new tenants (and prospective tenants if they request it).


What Does It All Mean?

The new regulations put significant pressure on the private rented sector to abide by all the new requirements with significant consequences if they fail to do it. The pressure and potential financial damage for those who don’t abide by the new regulations is a huge step in forcing better electrical safety in private rented properties.