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Electrical safety standards – latest rules for landlords and details of fines

13th May 2022

By Ben Walker

Some landlords are going to get caught out by the latest Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations, effective from 1 April 2021

The arrival of new electrical safety standards have seemingly been overlooked by some landlords. This could result in many of them seeing some heavy fines.

Firstly, there are big fines for renting without meeting the regulations.

Secondly, when buying or selling, the absence of a valid report could hold up proceedings. This is because valuers could deem the property unfit to rent without one.

So to clarify, the requirement to obtain a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) doesn’t only apply to a new tenancy.

Additionally, from April 1st, it will also include properties with a tenancy already in place.

All properties rented out will require an ECIR completed by a competent or qualified person to confirm the property is safe. The report will examine and comment on all fixed electrical elements of the property. This will include plugs sockets, light fittings and all wiring, as well as electric showers, extractors and testing the fuse box.

Landlords must give tenants a copy of the report within 28 days of the inspection. They must also keep a copy for inspection until the next report is done. Further reports are then required every five years.

What’s included or excluded?

The regulations apply to properties where a private tenant occupies the property as their main or only residence. This includes a licence to occupy as well as an assured shorthold tenancy.

HMO’s were previously covered under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006. This has now been removed and replaced by the new regulations. This means HMO’s are caught.

For larger HMO’s with 5 or more tenants, a license is required. A new condition has now been added to the HMO licence to ensure the fixed electrical installations are all up to the proper standard. Here is some HMO licence guidance.

There are some exceptions in schedule 1 of the regulations. These include lodgers, social housing, student halls of residence, care homes, hospices and hospitals, property on a lease of 7 years or more and other property which is used for the provision of healthcare.

Penalties for non compliance

Any landlord who fails to get the checks carried out by a qualified person could be facing fines of up to £5,000 initially and as much as £30,000 if they’re offend.

Property you own and rent out

Unless there is a relevant exclusion, there is no getting around this – comply or face fines

Property you are buying or selling to rent out.

Make sure there is an EICR in place at an early stage of the process. It’s best if done before a valuation is carried. 

It seems there is no way to avoid it. At some point, it will either scupper or delay the sale if not done early. For more information on the electrical safety standards click here.

Products and tools to consider

85% LTV refurbishment bridging

Could help bring the property up to scratch before remortgaging on to a BTL mortgage.

Refurbishment BTL bridge / mortgage

Both products are agreed and underwritten with the same lender at day 1. It offers more surety but lower LTV’s – typically 65% on the bridge and 75% LTV on the post works valuation.

Energy performance certificates

Landlords face potential fines for inadequate EPC’s – and the fines are set to rise significantly.

Talk to a Promise Money adviser for more details

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