With the new Rent Smart Wales regulations now coming into effect on the 30th November 2022, for all rental properties in Wales, which requires a mandatory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) we thought it might be useful to pull all the information together to make it clear what is required by landlords going forward.
Landlords have always had a legal responsibility to ensure that their property is safe before and during any tenancy and could be held criminally negligent if a renter is harmed due to faulty electrical installations. However, there hasn’t previously been any legislative requirement for landlords to complete regular EICR assessments or provide any documentation to people living in their property unless they were letting a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Going forward, every rental property in Wales will now need to have a valid electrical safety inspection carried out by a qualified and registered electrician with a certificate issued to confirm all electrical installations are in safe and working order. These certificates are valid for five years and another inspection will need to be carried out when the certificate is due to expire.
What is an EICR Certificate?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a certificate that details the safety and overall condition of all the electrical installations and fittings in a property. An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is used to identify defects, deterioration, damages and/or conditions which may indicate potential danger, as well as providing recommendations for improvement within a property. The Landlord's Electrical Safety Certificate is also accepted as a valid EICR.
What are the most common issues a property would fail an EICR inspection?
A number of issues may be detected when conducting the EICR but some are more common than others, such as inadequacy of bonding and earthing due to modern lifestyles and the amount of electric devices we use daily. As a consequence, supply cables and earthing cables often need upgrading to ensure they are correctly sized for demand also matched to the main supply fuse (normally 100amp). Another common issue is ensuring that an up to date consumer unit is present at the property, this can be a common occurrence in a lot of older properties. Ideally everyone should upgrade their consumer unit as soon as a newer, safer version becomes available. More realistically however, upgrades usually take place when carrying out electrical works within the property as many electrical jobs will require a fuse-board upgrade, for example a new kitchen or having new circuits added. Another issue with older properties is general wear and tear e.g. cracked sockets, missing labelling on consumer unit, exposed cores etc. All these aspects are usually quite easy to fix, but they can mount up as time goes on!
During the inspection, the electrician will use codes to highlight any potential risks on the report. Any C1 issues that are noted by the electrician are considered life-threatening to occupants and will be dealt with by the electrician at the time of the visit and additional charges may apply. C2 issues are an EICR failure but not life-threatening and therefore any additional works will be quoted for. Once C1 and C2 issues are rectified, a certificate will be issued. C3 issues are classed as advisories and therefore will not be deemed as an EICR failure. The Electrical Safety Standards require that you resolve any electrical issues within 28 days of receiving the recommendation from the electrician. What do I do now to ensure I am compliant? If you would like us to arrange for an EICR to be carried out for you at the cost of £125+vat, please let us know and we'd be happy to sort this for you. Once the EICR is completed, you will need to ensure that any serious faults highlighted as above are rectified and the property is deemed safe for habitation. Existing tenants of the residential premises will also require copies of the certificate within 28 days after testing and inspection.
Are there other safety regulations to be aware of?
Hardwiring fire alarms will also become a legal requirement by the 30th November 2022 for all rental properties in Wales and also having carbon monoxide alarms present for all dwellings that have gas central heating. But this comes into force a lot sooner with Carbon monoxide alarms required by the 13th July 2022. There needs to be a hard wired fire alarm fitted on every floor of the property and carbon monoxide alarms need to be present where there are gas installations such as a gas boiler or gas fire. If you would like us to arrange for fire alarms to be supplied and hardwired into your property at £190+vat and/or a carbon monoxide alarm to be fitted at £25+vat, kindly let us know and we'd be happy to arrange this for you.
The legislation has been active in England for some time now, and the
feedback we’ve received from landlords there, is the closer it gets to the
deadline date, the harder it is to secure a slot with an electrician, and in
some instances the costs have spiked due to the demand. So, it’s our
recommendations to get your EICR inspection booked in as soon as possible. This also gives you time to rectify any issues that could be raised.
We hope you have found this information helpful regarding the new regulations changing in Wales and hope to keep you updated on any other changes in legislations going forward. Stay tuned for more tips and advice, coming soon! If you wish to discuss any of the above topics, or have any questions regarding this, please do get in touch with us - we’d be more than happy to help!
Team Neighbourhood Properties