Landlords are responsible for the safety of the fixed electrical installation in their rental properties and any portable electrical appliances they provide.
The fixed electrical installation;
As of 1 July 2020, the rules in England changed to introduce new standards of electrical safety as well as legal requirements on the service of documents to relevant people.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 places a continuous duty on landlords in England to maintain their property to the electrical safety standards and to have evidence of this. This means your property must meet the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and you must have a report, such as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) that shows this from a qualified person.
EICR are required for all performed on all existing tenancies before 1 April 2021
The fixed electrical installation must be inspected and tested at intervals of no more than five years. The EICR must should cover 100% of the installation.
The EIRC and any associated works must be carried out by a competent person qualified to check installations to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations.
If you have a lodger or you are letting out the property on a long lease (7 years or more) you are not required to have an EICR performed.
If a breach, or a potential breach, of your duty has been identified you need to have a qualified person either perform the work or investigate further within 28 days. This time limit can be shortened if the report recommends it so you should ensure you are complying with the time frame in the report itself.
Once this has been done you need to ensure you receive a written report from the qualified person as quickly as possible. This report needs to state that the electrical safety standards are now being met or that further remedial work is required.
It is at this stage, within 28 days of the work or investigation being carried, that you must provide the written confirmation as well as a copy of the report to all of the tenants and the local authority. DO NOT send the information to the local authority before this time. It should be sent to ERS@westoxon.gov.uk
Where the follow up investigation recommends further work being done, you must repeat the steps above until the property meets the electrical safety standards.
The local authority is responsible for enforcement and we have a number of powers to act on this.
Firstly, we can issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 per breach of these regulations.
Secondly, where we have identified non-urgent work we must serve the landlord a notice detailing the work required and giving him 28 days to perform the work. The landlord may make representations to this within 21 days of the notice being served. If you do then the local authority must respond to these representations within 7 days. Until we respond the requirement to perform the work is suspended.
Finally, the local authority, are satisfied the landlord is in breach and we have the tenant's permission to do so, we may perform emergency remedial work on the property and bill you for any costs incurred.
Further information can be found here https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/landlords/
Portable appliance testing;
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the process of checking electrical appliances for safety through a series of visual inspections and electronic tests. Where a landlord provides an electrical appliance as part of a tenancy, the law expects the appliance will be maintained in a safe condition that will not cause harm to the tenant.
Further information can be found here https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/find-an-electrician/pat-testing-explained