What electrical tests will landlords in England need to carry out under the new legislation for rentals?

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The landlord is responsible for making sure that a full periodic inspection and test of the fixed electrical installation is carried out.

Answered by Dave, Electrical Safety Expert

From June 2020, the electrical installation in privately rented homes in England and Scotland must be checked every five years. The first check must be carried out for new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and on existing ones by 1st April 2021. We strongly recommend that landlords in Wales and Northern Ireland also have five yearly checks carried out to ensure the safety of their tenants and properties.

The landlord is responsible for making sure that a full periodic inspection and test of the fixed electrical installation is carried out. The scope of the inspection and test is defined in British Standard 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations) and essentially covers:

  • Thorough visual inspection of all accessible parts of the installation, including consumer unit, switches, sockets, lampholders, earthing/bonding arrangements. Sockets and switches can be inspected on a sample basis
  • Testing of circuits for polarity, fault current, fault protection, additional protection, insulation resistance
  • Functional testing of switches and RCDs

This must be done by a competent and qualified person. On completion the inspector will provide a report outlining the outcome of the inspection and test, likely to be an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). A copy of the report should be provided to tenants.

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