Tackling anti-social tenant behaviour in your contracts.
Learning from south Liverpool’s ongoing crisis
Prior to April 2020, electrical inspections were only legally required for HMO’s. For all other private tenancies it was recommended that an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) be carried out every five years, but was not technically required by law.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 April 2020, applying to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies in England as of 1 April 2021.
EIC tests should be carried out by a qualified engineer and the purpose of the inspection is to:
The EICR will detail any damage, defects or dangerous conditions present. If the property is considered unsafe, the report will state “unsatisfactory” and remedial action will be required within 28 days or within the period specified in the report if sooner - beginning on the date of the inspection.
The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only the fixed electrical installations. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) must be conducted on electrical appliances provided by the Landlord in the property, in addition to keeping a record of electrical inspections (for good practice).
EICR’s are valid for 5 years. The Regulations apply to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies in England as of 1 April 2021. If the rental property has a valid EICR you will not need to carry out a new one until the existing report expires. You can find the expiry date by checking the report as the engineer will provide the date for the next EIC test.
Before the Regulations were introduced, EICR’s were recommended every ten years and not five. As a result, many older certificates will have an original validity of ten years but as a result of the Regulations will no longer be valid once they reach the five year mark.
The Regulations apply where a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main resident and pays rent. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy. Exceptions are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations and include:
If a property is a newbuild or has been completely rewired it will be provided with an Electrical Installation Certificate. This can be provided to tenants and to the local authority, where required. Further checks need not be carried out for 5 years after the certificate is issued.
The report will show whether the electrical installations are safe for use. The report will either show the electrical installations are safe for use, further investigation is required or remedial work is required.
The electrical engineers will use the following classification codes to show where the Landlord may need to carry out remedial work:
Where the code C1 is identified, the electrical engineer may make the hazards safe before leaving.
If both C1 and C2 are identified, remedial work is needed and the report will highlight the electrical installation is potentially dangerous and not permitted for continued use.
Where code F1 is identified the Landlord must ensure the further investigative work is carried out.
Code C3 recommends improvement but the Landlord does not have to make the improvement, although this would improve the electrical safety if they did.
The local authority may serve a remedial notice on the Landlord requiring remedial action, if there are reasonable grounds to believe the Landlord is in breach of one or more of the duties provided in the Regulations.
If the Landlord doesn’t comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for remedial action to be taken and recover the costs of taking the action from the Landlord. The Landlord will have the right to appeal against a demand for costs.
If the report indicates the remedial action is urgent, and the Landlord does not carry out the remedial work within the period specified, the local authority may arrange to carry out the remedial work with the Landlord’s consent. The local authority must authorise a qualified and competent person in writing to complete the remedial action, providing the tenant with at least 48 hours’ notice beforehand. The cost for the remedial work can be recovered from the Landlord.
Failure by a Landlord to comply with the Regulations may result in a penalty of up to £30,000.
The government has recognised that the restrictions imposed by current covid measures may make it difficult to comply with the Regulations that affect the private rented sector. A guidance note has been provided to address concerns people may have when carrying out work during the pandemic to ensure properties are in good repair and free of hazards, which can be found here.
Further guidance is provided for when working in people's homes, this can be found here. Landlords’ and electrical engineers can follow this guidance to help ensure the workplace is Covid secure. It provides:
The local authorities and enforcement agencies are aware of the guidance as provided and how this may impact Landlord’s complying with gas and electrical safety requirements. As such the government encourages a pragmatic and common sense approach.
Landlords’ are legally required to provide tenants with all the necessary electrical safety certification at the beginning of the tenancy, in addition to carrying out scheduled inspections and tests where required.
Whether or not a periodic tenancy is a new tenancy, as defined in Regulation 2, depends on the type of tenancy which was issued.
Properties which are let on the basis of a statutory periodic tenancy (where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021) will require an inspection and test under the Regulations.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 April 2020, applying to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies in England as of 1 April 2021. Landlords will need to arrange for a qualified engineer to conduct EIC tests on new tenancies and existing ones based on their nature. EICR’s are valid for 5 years and properties with existing EICRs will not need a new one until the existing report expires.
Legislate is a web based platform for creating contracts by answering simple questions. Our lawyer approved agreements are written in plain English which means that everyone can understand them. You can read how to create your first Legislate agreements in our tutorial and watch a short demo. If you would like to try Legislate, please book an introductory call.
Learning from south Liverpool’s ongoing crisis
The services provided by a full management letting agency
On the 2nd anniversary of RoPA’s groundbreaking report
In law, is a landlord responsible for the actions of their agent?
The basic rights that both tenants and landlords are entitled to.
4 key stages in implementing a change of employment terms
Factors to consider before proposing a change to employment terms
How to read your tenancy agreement with student tenants
How can a landlord or letting agent end a tenancy without a section 8 or 21 notice?
For what reasons can you start the process of ending an assured shorthold tenancy?
Changing the terms of a tenancy agreement pre and post signature.
Everything to know about controlling Legionella risk in a rental property
If it looks, walks and talks like a tenant, can it be a lodger?
Are these 3 clauses in your free licence to occupy template?
What the case law says on the essential elements of a lease
Does a contract actually need to be in writing?
Your obligations before, during and whilst housing a lodger.
A history of the landlord-tenant relationship and how it is shaped today
Don't cover up the cracks.
Make sure to remove these ‘unforgotten’ clauses from your contracts.
3 things missing in your agency’s template agreement with landlords
Bridges to cross when renting property.
Bridges every landlord needs to cross before letting their property.
Classifying property and your obligations.
Single occupancy, multiple obligations.
Landlords: Your extra responsibilities when letting a HMO.
Why your tenancy agreements might not be as enforceable as you think they are.