Five Yearly Electrical Checks
Private landlords in England must have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe. This legislation was introduced in July 2020 and checks must be carried out every five years.
If a landlord is found to not have complied with the law or if no attempt has been made to complete necessary remedial work that was identified, you could face a penalty fine of up to £30,000
What Landlords need to do in order to comply
In order to prove that your property is safe, the electrical installation needs to be inspected every five years. We strongly recommend that you employ a registered electrician who has been specifically assessed to carry out the electrical safety check on the property. Using an electrician who is registered with a competent persons scheme means that you have more protection and a complaints resolution procedure in the rare event anything goes wrong.
You can find a registered electrician near you on our website. Select the option ‘To undertake an electrical safety report’.
Following the inspection, the registered electrician will issue you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will either formally declare that the installation is safe for continued use, or highlight any suggested or urgent repairs that need to be made. A copy of the EICR must be provided to both new and retained tenants.
If the inspection has stated that remedial work is necessary, you can check whether your electrician is able to carry out the work or find a registered electrician by searching again, this time selecting the option 'To carry out installation or remedial work'.
Any remedial work or further investigation following the inspection must be addressed within 28 days, with written confirmation that the work has been completed provided to the tenant and Local Authority.
You do not need to have checks carried out on change of tenancy, as long as these fall within the five year period, but a copy of the EICR should be provided to new tenants.
Access to Properties
The legislation states that landlords will not be in breach of the regulations if they can demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply. If for example, your tenant was refusing access to the property for an electrical safety check to be carried out, communications between the landlord and the tenant should be documented and kept as evidence of an attempt to comply. We recommend documenting and keeping all communications with both tenants and the electrician so that you can clearly show that you have attempted to comply with the regulations.
If your tenants are shielding due to Covid 19, or refuse access, this could lead to a delay in accessing the property, in which case you should keep the correspondence to show that you have attempted to comply.
You can find out more by downloading our Guide for Landlords:
Find out more about your obligations by reading our Expert Q&A.
More tips to help keep your tenants safe
Carry out a visual inspection of the property once a year and/or between tenancies - use the form below to guide you through it, there's a version you can print and one you can fill in online.
Use a registered electrician for any work on your property
Register any appliances provided as part of the rental and asking your tenants to do the same with any that they bring into the property.
Download our smartphone and Voice Skills apps - they'll help you check for electrical product recalls, register your products or find an electrician near you. Find out more here.