Since July 1st 2020, the UK’s electrical safety law on rented properties has changed to improve the safety of tenants and protect the landlord’s investment- electrical issues ending in fires lead to further costs such as refurbishment and relocation. All new tenancies starting after this date are required by law to have an Electrical Safety Inspection (ESI) before renters move in, and pre-existing contracts will need an inspection before April 1st, 2021. Reports must be provided to existing or prospective tenants, and be available at the request of local authorities.
These new guidelines also call for continued testing every 5 years, to maintain the highest levels of safety possible. This legislation not only provides an influx of opportunity for electrical testing businesses, but is the first step in improving the standard of living country-wide, as rental properties make up 20% of the market, with 4.7 million rented households in England alone. This industry is only growing, and it is predicted there will be 7.2m rental properties in the UK by 2025, indicating the importance of strict safety guidelines.
This legislation should not heavily impact responsible landlords, as regular electrical testing is necessary for the safety of tenants. Approximately 78% of rental properties comply with the requirements, though this still leaves 22% that need work.
Testing properties takes approximately 2-4 hours, though the exact time and price depend on the size and number of bedrooms of a property. However, this short amount of time is all that is required to ensure safety and prevent electrical incidents.
Any needed remedial work revealed by this testing must also be completed by the landlord within a period of 28 days after testing, possibly less if specified by the contractor. Faults coded C1 or C2 by the electrician are required to be fixed, while any C3s are recommended but not required by law. Any remedial work done will bring your property up to standard and improve safety, most commonly by installing additional heat or smoke detectors.
The testing applies to the wiring, sockets, light fittings and fuse boxes within a property, excluding appliances. However, it is recommended by the government to carry out Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) regularly outside of the ESI. Electrical Safety Inspections will reveal overloaded installations, shock risks, fire hazards, defective electrical work or any lack of earthing/bonding- built-in means to prevent electrical shocks.
If testing is not carried out by the landlord, the local council had the authority to enforce that this work is done, or even arrange for the testing themselves. The work is necessary, so it is of the highest importance that it is completed as soon as possible, with possible fines of up to £30,00 for non-compliance. Tenants can report a failure to comply to the authorities, for their own safety.
East Finchley Electrical provides the services necessary to ensure your property is in accordance with this legislation, and can carry out any remedial work revealed by these tests. Our team of highly trained professionals are available to assist the 2.5 million private landlords in the UK, so feel free to contact us via phone or email to book your testing today.
We have already completed numerous tests, and as the electricians relied upon by multiple real estate companies such as Martin Gerrard, we will continue to assist landlords in maintaining the safety of their properties.
For more information on the law change, feel free to visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector, or call us for a quote.