If you own a rental property in England, did you know that the law changed in April 2021?
As a landlord, you will be responsible for arranging a landlord electrical safety certificate for each property you own.
From 1 April 2021, you will need a landlord electrical safety certificate (also known as an EICR certificate) for your property if you don’t already have one.
What is a landlord electrical safety certificate?
A landlord electrical safety certificate is when an electrician, engineer or other ‘competent person’ tests the electrical installation in a rental property to make sure they are working as they should.
The electrical installation includes things like:
- Light fittings
- Fuse boxes
- Plug sockets.
These can deteriorate and break over time, making them more susceptible to electric shocks and causing fires.
How has the landlord electrical safety certificate law changed?
The law initially changed in July 2020. Any tenancy created or renewed after this time had to have a valid landlord electrical safety certificate in place.
On 1 April 2021, the law changed again. All rental properties now have to have a certificate in place.
If you do not have a certificate in place, you could be liable for fines of up to £30,000.
Is the landlord's electrical safety certificate annual?
No. Once you have a valid landlord electrical safety certificate in place, you must renew it every five years.
It’s also recommended that you get one carried out if there is a change of occupancy.
The rules for new properties
If you buy a property that has been newly built or completely rewired, you do not have to get an electrical safety certificate. The Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) you were given can be used in place of an electrical safety certificate for five years.
So if you buy a new buy-to-let and the EIC was signed in November 2020, you do not have to get an electrical safety certificate until November 2025.
How do I get a landlord’s electrical safety certificate?
To get a landlord’s electrical safety certificate, you need to arrange for a ‘competent’ person like an engineer to come and inspect your electrical installation. The engineer will visually inspect your installation for damage, and run electrical currents through your circuits to check they work safely.
The engineer will need to turn off the electricity to carry out the inspection, so bear this in mind if you have tenants already in your property.
The engineer will provide you with a report and let you know if the inspection was ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’. If it’s unsatisfactory, you need to get any faulty circuits repaired and retested within 28 days.
You can then give your tenant a copy of the report for their records, and provide a copy to your local council or insurance company if they ask for one.
If you are looking for a reliable, high-quality and professional company to carry out your electrical safety certificate inspection, Hawkesworth is here to help.
We have experience with working with landlords across the country. Whether you have one property you need testing or an entire portfolio; we can help to keep you compliant.
Next blog: The 2020 roundup
Previous blog: What are the PAT testing requirements for landlords?