Guide to the Latest Landlord Electrical Regulations 2019
There has been a lot of speculation lately regarding changes to Landlord Electrical Regulations in 2019. The confusion has only been made worse by the fact that there has been very little “official guide” to what has (or indeed, will end up) changed.
Together with a number of other regulatory changes around the private rental sector, being a landlord means you need knowledge of a wide variety of different topics. As such, clear advice from experts in the field is what you need.
We are a local electrician in Wakefield, and we specialise in helping local landlords. When the regulations change, we need to be abreast of the latest electrical regulations, specifically those affecting landlords and the rental sector. Some of the new landlord electrical regulations in 2019 have yet to be introduced properly. We intend this to be a complete, one stop Guide to the Latest Landlord Electrical Regulations for 2019. As such, we will be updating this regularly with the very latest changes. If you subscribe to this post, or indeed comment below and tick to keep updated, you will receive email updates as soon as they happen.
Introduction to Changes in 2019 for Landlord Electrical Regulations
There have been a number of different regulatory changes to the electrical industry recently. Not all of these are directly related to the rental sector and landlords, so we will only list the changes which are relevant to the Private Rental Sector, and yourselves as landlord’s.
To landlord’s, it may often seem that the same regulatory change is responsible for all the changes coming in 2019. That is why it is so important for us to clear the mystery surrounding this! There are a large number of contractors who do not have a dedicated grasp of the nuances of the rental sector. This could leave Landlord’s with poor advice relating to what your specific responsibilities are, the best way to meet these requirements and to ensure ongoing compliance.
The first main change to Electrical Regulations which was brought into force in 2019 was the 18th Edition of the wiring regulations. Whilst these regulatory changes were actually introduced in July 2018, electrical installations did not need to comply with the new requirements until 1st Jan 2019. That sounds more ominous than it was intended!
The second main change, which is going to affect landlords in a much more specific manner, is relating to Electrical Inspections. The regulations in question are being introduced byThe Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
This is where even more smoke and mirrors come into play, because although Parliament have approved the regulation changes, they have not laid out any further specifics and are citing “lack of Parliamentary time” for the current delay. Whatever your thoughts on Brexit, it seems to probably be responsible for the “lack of time” they mention.
As I have stated above, this is a One-Stop Guide To Landlord Electrical Regulations in 2019, so I have committed to keeping this up to date with all the changes as they happen.
Changes Introduced in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations
The 18th edition of the wiring regulations were released in July 2018. However, the final date for compliance with this standard was 1st Jan 2019.
Whilst the 18th edition of the wiring regulations place no specific requirements directly on landlords, they do affect all new electrical installation work. As such, being mindful of these changes is a good thing.
The 18th edition is the latest update to a document more officially called BS7671 Requirements For Electrical Installations. This lays out the all the regulations relating to fixed wiring, whether in a domestic home or a commercial electrical installation.
Whilst the update to the regulations has brought a number of changes and new rules, there is no requirement to bring old installations up to the standard prescribed in the 18th edition. Any NEW installation work would need to comply (new circuit for an electric shower or adding extra sockets). Replacement of accessories (replacing existing sockets, switches & lights) would not come under these requirements.
An example: One of the new regulations introduced in the 18th edition is that lighting circuits in domestic properties now require RCD protection. Whilst you can replace an existing light fitting with another without having to provide RCD protection, installation of a NEW light where one has not been before would now require that RCD protection is installed for that circuit/addition
Whilst the 18th edition changes do impact landlords in a minor sense, none of the changes place a requirement for you to do anything different. If you have a reliable, registered electrician then compliance with these regulations should be entrusted to them. As members of Competent Person Schemes, registered electricians have to demonstrate compliance with the regulations every time they change.
To summarise: these changes really only affect NEW installation works. If you don’t have anything new installed then there is no requirement for you to do anything whatsoever. The technical differences contained within the 18th edition changes should be part of all installation works completed by your electrician after 1st Jan 2019.
If you have any queries about specific compliance with the 18th edition on new installation work then your electrician should be able to discuss this with you directly. I did give a run down on the changes on a previous blog post. If you would like more detailed information on what the changes are, check there by clicking on the link: Landlords Guide to the 18th Edition
…..this section is complete. We know the 18th edition regulation changes and how they affect landlords. See below for more updated (and important!) info on other landlord electrical regulation changes in 2019
Changes to be Introduced Surrounding Landlord Electrical Inspections in 2019
This is the section which is most fluid with this guide. Updated as soon as any news changes – Updated Jun 30, 2019
After a consultation process with stakeholders within the PRS (Private Rental Sector), the Government have confirmed that Electrical Safety Testing is going to be a mandatory requirement for private rented homes.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced the plans in January 2018, releasing a document called “Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector“
The original consultation was open for comment in Feb-April 2018. It received 582 responses from a wide range of individuals with an interest in the Private Rental Sector & Electrical Safety. These included Landlords, Tenants, Estate Agents, Letting Agents & Local Councils. A number of representatives from Fire & Rescue authorities also responded, as well as Electricians, Other Government agency representatives & Housing Charities all gave comment on the proposals.
A summary of the MHCLG document is as follows:
- Private Rental properties will require 5 yearly Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR)
- There will be a 2 year transitional period:
- 1st year the new regulations will apply to new tenancies only
- 2nd year the regulations will be extended to apply to existing tenancies also
- Properties which are covered by an existing EICR will be covered under the new regulations until the 5 year mark after the report was issued
- Properties which have an EIC (Electrical Installation Certificate) for rewires will be covered. It is believed that this will be for 5 years from date of inspection.
- It is unlikely that EICs covering anything less than a full rewire will comply. An example would be an EIC issued after a fuse board upgrade. These installations will likely be treated as though they have no paperwork and will require an EICR completing.
- Agents/landlords will have to ensure that the person completing the report(s) is both qualified and competent for the works. It is proposed that a CPS (Competent Person Scheme) will be set up which Electricians will need to join
- Failure to have the property tested or to ensure that the inspecting electrician is qualified/registered could lead to the possibility of heavy fines being imposed
Unfortunately no further information has been released by the government with regards this at present. With Parliamentary time being taken up with the whole Brexit debarcle and now the change of the Prime Minister, updates on the progress of this have been a little slow coming.
At present we simply have a list of proposed regulations. This gives little detail as to how the actual regulations will work or how they will be enforced. This unfortunately causes a lot of confusion for people as to what the actual landlord electrical regulations for 2019 are.
However, there is an example of just such a regulation/scheme working up in Scotland. Here, mandatory EICRs for private rental properties have been a requirement since 1st December 2015.
Some landlords may already have experience of this if they have properties in Scotland. Although no details have been confirmed for sure, it is widely believed that the change in regulations would bring a system broadly similar to that currently in place in Scotland.
Easy “Do I Comply?” Checklist For All Landlord Electrical Regulations 2019
So you are a landlord and you need a simple, all encompassing check list to see if your property complies? But not just with the proposed updates, you want to see if your property meets all electrical regulations/requirements currently in force for private rented properties.
Well we’ll give a quick run down of all the applicable regulations, together with a tick list you can check to see if your rental property complies.
This list (as with the rest of this guide) will be updated as further news about the new electrical inspection regulations becomes available.
So without further ado, here is the “Do I Comply”? Checklist for private rented properties in 2019:
- Property must have a working smoke alarm on each habitable floor
- Any electrical appliances (fridges, washing machines or similar) supplied must be checked and in good working order (PAT test not required)
- Any electrical installation (fixed wiring, sockets, lights) must be checked and in good working order. This is difficult, whilst there is no requirement currently to complete an EICR, it is difficult for a landlord to prove it is safe without one.
If you own a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) then slightly different rules and regulations apply. The vast majority of HMOs now require licensing from the local authority. The requirements differ slightly from council to council, however the vast majority of HMOs will now require a valid EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report).
So to summarise, the landlord electrical regulations are changing quite drastically in 2019. We have written this guide to hopefully help clear the confusion up for landlords! If you have any questions then please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer for you!