Dear reader, hoping all is well with you - still difficult times for us all, at least the sunshine is doing its bit to help.
I am writing to make you aware of the Government's proposal for enforcing mandatory 5-year electrical safety checks in the private rented sector from July this year - namely, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR - another acronym to add to the list!).
Currently, there is no legal requirement to do so - however the guidance due to be issued will most certainly make it mandatory for all new Tenancies from 1st July 2020. Note: if your Tenancy commenced prior to this date, the deadline for providing an EICR is 1st April 2021.
Here's the good news: we are already on it with our legal people and qualified team of contractors - we have a plan in place to get you covered whilst observing strict Covid-19 rules - so yes, we do everything so that you don't have to!
In this newsletter, I'll touch on: the documentation needed, outline what will be required if the EICR indicates a potential breach, highlight the enforcement penalties that can be imposed and of course, give an idea of the cost to you of getting the report done.
As always, updates on other areas will be sent out in due course.
Getting the documentation right - we got it covered!
Once the electrical installation has been tested, you must:
Ensure you receive a written report from the person conducting the inspection, which includes the results and the required date for the next inspection
Supply a copy of this report to each existing Tenant living in the property within 28 days of the inspection
Supply a copy within seven days to the Local Authority (if requested)
Keep a copy of the report until the next inspection, and give a copy to the person undertaking the next inspection
For new tenancies:
Give a copy of the most recent report to a new Tenant before the tenant occupies the property
- Give a copy of the most recent report to any prospective new Tenant who requests the report in writing, within 28 days of receiving such a request.
Well, I say you must - but of course, we're going to take care of it for you.
EICR has indicated a potential breach - don't worry, we have time to fix it!
If the EICR report comes back with recommendations on works necessary to adhere to the standards, you will be required to:
- Either perform the works required or investigate within 28 days
- Time limit can be shorter if breach is considered serious and will clearly be marked on the report
- Provide Tenant and Local Authority with new report to confirm safety standards are met
Well, I say you will be required to - actually, we'll do it all!
What enforcement action can be taken if I do not comply with the regulations?
The Local Authority is responsible for enforcement and they have a number of powers to act on this.
- Civil penalties of up to £30,000 per breach
- For non-urgent work, the authority must serve the Landlord a notice detailing the work required and provide 28 days to perform the work. The Landlord may make representations to this within 21 days of the notice being served and the authority must respond within 7 days (until they respond the requirement to perform the work is suspended)
- For non-compliance, the authority may perform emergency remedial work and bill the Landlord for any costs incurred
As you can see, the fine is HEFTY to say the least - this is a serious report and we are treating it that way.
How much will the EICR cost me?
As mentioned at the start of this newsletter, we are committed to get the best people to do the job for the right price.
To be safe, I would say to budget no more than £175 including VAT (to cover the 5 years). Having said this, we will negotiate as much as possible and are actually aiming for the £120 including VAT mark - will keep you posted.
Note that this cost will not include any remedial works if needed.
Personal note from me...
Yes, ANOTHER mandatory requirement on top of ALLLLLL the rest - but in all honesty - I really do welcome this one.
Electrical testing and the grey area surrounding it over the years has been confusing to say the least. Not just that, it felt as though we lost sight of what was more important - the legislation, or the actual safety of people staying inside our properties.
We are all about providing enjoyable homes - the best standards across Nottingham - and this means we take safety extremely seriously.
I always wonder how it is that before I can set out in a journey in my car: I need to have the right licence, annual MOT and the relevant insurances - yet when it comes to renting a property it seems as though there isn't the same level of protection (especially when it comes to safety).
For me, it's simple: having a satisfactory EICR done = we all sleep well at night.
Don't get me wrong, I am completely against the exhorbitant costs that have been introduced to Landlords - and you guys know this! In this case, potentially for a cost of around £30 per year I think it's well worth it.
Okay, remedial works may be required and yes, that could mean more expense. I assure you, if and when we get to that stage - we will work with you on each individual circumstance and find a solution (perhaps interest free split-payment schemes etc).
Whatever happens, we work with you in partnership and always do best by you where we can. And it's with that, that we always prioritise safety for your Tenants whilst keeping you strictly compliant to all legalities.
As always, through good times and bad, Cavendish Residential has always been here, consistently seeing our clients through - we will do our level best to stay safe whilst providing you excellent service and a maximum return.
All the best for now with sincerest regards, Ali.