Latest Landlord Electrical Regulations 2020 – Complete Top Guide

LATEST UPDATE 10TH JULY 2020

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 - Landlord Electrical Safety Checks 2020
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS PLEASE POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS AT THE BOTTOM AND I WILL REPLY ASAP TO EACH & EVERY ONE.

WE HAVE BEEN INUNDATED ON WEBCHAT AND UNABLE TO ANSWER THEM ALL

There has been a lot of speculation lately regarding changes to Landlord Electrical Regulations in 2019 / 2020. 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.

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.

We intend this to be a complete, one stop Guide to the Latest Landlord Electrical Regulations for 2020. 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.

Prefer to watch a quick video on the introduction to these latest changes?
Landlord Electrical Safety Checks 2020

Introduction to Changes for Landlord Electrical Regulations

There have been a number of different regulatory changes to the electrical industry recently. However 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 2020. 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. This change had nothing to do with the landlord requirements and more of a series of technical changes relating to the actual installation.

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 by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)

These regulations are entitled 'Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020' and are due to come into force this year. They were introduced to parliament on Jan 13th 2020 under the above title.

The new regulations have passed from a draft into a 'statutory instrument' and will now become law on the 1st June 2020. The regulations have been on the horizon for some time and this change brings England in line with the mandatory requirements for electrical inspections currently in place in Scotland.

We have outlined the main points of these latest landlord electrical regulations below in the dedicated section.

As I have stated above, this is a One-Stop Guide To Landlord Electrical Regulations in 2020, so I have committed to keeping this up to date with all the changes as they happen.
If your property is old and has particularly old wiring, then compliance with these new regulations could be costly at an awkward time for Landlords.

It is also awkward for both tenants and electricians, and the visits into personal homes with the current crisis is not something we really are looking forward to.


The Coronavirus Crisis has severely delayed the time in which landlords have to comply with these new regulations, and there are concerns that there will be so many needing doing in such a relatively short space of time that the whole industry will struggle to cope.

My personal advice to Landlords is to find a reliable local electrician. I would advise against solely shopping around based on price alone as some unscrupulous traders have been known to use EICRs as 'loss leaders' to make more profit by exaggerating the remedial works required

Changes to be Introduced Surrounding Landlord Electrical Inspections in 2020

landlord electrical regulations 2020
For some time now there has been rumour that 'mandatory electrical inspections' would be brought in as a requirement in the Private Rented Sector. in England

Early 2019 did see the introduction of a draft set of proposals regarding this, however the lack of parliamentary time due to the whole Brexit saga meant movement was slow.

However, on the 13th of January 2020, a full detailed set of regulations were laid out before parliament for their consideration. The "Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020" detail the new requirements for electrical safety checks in rental properties and the expected timescales for their implementation.

In a nutshell, the regulations require that every private rented property has an electrical inspection completed by a suitably qualified person, a minimum of every 5 years. ***There are instances where this timescale may be shorter, such as where the previous inspection has suggested a shorter timeframe due to the condition of the installation

The implementation of the new regulations will be as follows:
  • New Tenancies - New tenancies must meet the new requirements from July 1st 2020 - Be aware that renewed 'periodic tenancies' are counted as 'new tenancies' even if the same tenant renews for a further period
  • Existing Tenancies - Existing 'longer term' tenancies must meet the new requirements from April 1st 2021
The regulations also require that:
  • Landlords provide a copy of the electrical inspection report to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection (or before the tenancy begins for new tenants)
  • Landlords must supply a copy to the local authority within 7 days (if requested to do so)
  • Any faults highlighted by the electrical inspection must be remedied within 28 days (or sooner if detailed within the electrical report)
  • Written confirmation must be obtained to confirm that any necessary repairs have been completed

Non-compliance with the new regulations will mean the local authority will supply the landlord with an 'enforcement notice'.  If a landlord fails to act upon this, the local authority can enforce it by having the repairs completed (and billing the landlord) or even impose a fine of upto £30,000

Landlord Electrical Safety Tests are now a requirement for any NEW TENANCIES!

Countdown to landlord electrical checks being a requirement for EXISTING TENANCIES:

Easy “Do I Comply?” Checklist For All Landlord Electrical Regulations 2020

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
So you are a landlord or agent and you need a simple, all encompassing check list to see if a property complies? Not just with the proposed updates, you want to see if your property meets all landlord electrical regulations/requirements currently in force for private rented properties?

Below is 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 July 2020:
  • Property must have a working smoke alarm on each habitable floor
  • Any electrical appliances (fridges, washing machines or similar) supplied must be visually checked and in good working order (PAT test not required, landlord or agent can visually check)
  • An EICR is required for any new tenancy This currently applies to 'NEW' tenancies only, existing tenancies have until April 2021 to comply
  • For existing tenancies, 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 for existing tenancies, 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)

A new Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) would also suffice, although the extent of work would have to cover a full rewire or new installation.

So to summarise, the landlord electrical regulations are changing quite drastically in 2020.

This is the introduction of mandatory Landlord Electrical Checks in England, bringing it in line with Scotlands rules on Landlord Checks

We have written this guide to hopefully help clear the confusion up for landlords & agents! If you have any questions then please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer for you!

Regards,
James - ElectricBlu Contractors

James - ElectricBlu Contractors

Helping Landlords & Agents keep Electrical Compliance simple...
Landlord Electrical Checks 2020
Landlord Electrical Checks 2020

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Comments

  • 24th February 2020

    we have published part of what you have said in our article. We hope you are happy with this and a link back to your website.

    https://thebla.co.uk

    • ElectricBluContractors
      5th March 2020

      Hello Ms Cartwright

      Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Yes it is fine to include some of our information and I appreciate the link back to our page

      If you ever need any further electrical advice for your landlord site, please do not hesitate to get in touch

      Kind regards
      James Raby
      ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Bal Kumar
    14th May 2020

    Well done you guys are a breath of fresh air to landlords and your customers for your honesty, especially as even most electricians do not know that this has not been passed as yet.

    Well done.
    Property portfolio manager.

    How far are you from wolverhampton ?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      15th May 2020

      Hello Mr Kumar and thank you very much for your kind words!

      Within our blog, we aim to give proper advice and information rather than just ‘sales pitch’ nonsense!

      We are based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, sadly a little bit far away from Wolverhampton. We are however, part of a network of local electricians across the country who aim for the same ‘no nonsense’ standards. If you are struggling with local electricians giving you the hard sell let me know and I can put you in touch with someone trustworthy a bit closer who will be able to assist you

      Kind regards
      James Raby
      ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Mike Fowell
    20th May 2020

    Many thanks for your informative article, could you tell me if the new law is still coming in for July 1st, or been delayed due to the current circumstances. I have new tenant moving in around beginning of July, so wondered if we have firm details of inspections and tests yet.

    Many thanks mike

    • ElectricBluContractors
      20th May 2020

      Hi Mike thanks for getting in touch

      I haven’t updated the guide in a while due to the whole Coronavirus thing and news being scarce, however would you believe that the regulations have been passed from a draft into a ‘Statutory Instrument’ which effectively enshrines this as legislation. According to the statutory instrument covering ‘Electrical Safety Standards In The Private Rental Sector 2020‘ <<< check this link on GOV.UK, which explains that the legislation does indeed come into force on the 1st June 2020. Confusingly this is a month before the 'requirement' for new tenancies to comply, however less than 2 weeks from now. If we work out using the 28 day requirement for repair within that regulation, this does mean that any issues in any property which would cause it to fail an EICR, must be remedied before 28th July 2020 at the very latest. Be aware that if anyone has a house where the wiring is particularly old and turns out to be in need of urgent remedial works, the Local Building Control could enforce that it be rectified, meaning a costly rewire being a requirement during the Coronavirus Crisis. Obviously this is worst case scenario and properties with a good general standard of repair would likely require much less work. But to not be aware of this and plan for it is foolish. I would suggest finding a local, reputable electrician. Their services may cost slightly more, however they are more inclined to a do a proper report, rather than use the remedial works as a loss leader to further works. If I can be of any more assistance please don't hesitate to leave a reply and I'll come straight back. Kind regards James - ElectricBlu Contractors

  • 29th May 2020

    Reading the SI 2020 No. 312, the electrical safety standards means the standards for electrical installations in the eighteenth edition of the Wiring Regulations, published by IET & BSI- BS 7671: 2018(3).
    This suggests that any previous EICRs based on 17th Edition & below, are not valid for this SI.
    Also an Electrical Certificate for a whole house rewire is not the same as an EICR which is required by the regulations/government guidance.
    Your help/advise please. Peter

    • ElectricBluContractors
      14th June 2020

      Hello Peter, thank you for taking the time to post the question.

      At the time this was originally written, I was basing the information off both the SI which had been published, and also the latest guidance from the NICEIC/ELECSA on the topic. Since this time there has been an electrical round table which has produced an official GOV.UK landlord guide to the latest regulations.

      This clears up your question regarding whether an EIC for a rewire/new installation would actually comply. If you check section 8 (further questions), specifically the question titled: “What about new build properties or new installations?”

      “If a property is newly built or has been completely rewired, it should have an Electrical Installation Certificate known as an EIC.

      Landlords can provide a copy of the EIC to tenants and, if requested, the local housing authority. The landlord will then not be required to carry out further checks or provide a report for 5 years after the EIC has been issued, as long as they have complied with their duty or duties under the Regulations.”

      With regards the section on ‘pre-18th edition’ EICRs, this is a little more ambiguous:

      “Regulation 3 requires that landlords have the electrical installation inspected and tested at intervals of no longer than every 5 years. Electrical safety standards (the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations) must be met throughout the period of that tenancy.

      The 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations came into effect in 2019, so if a landlord already has a report for a property that was carried out after this date and has complied with all the other requirements of the Regulations, they won’t have to have another inspection for 5 years, provided the report does not state that the next inspection should take place sooner.

      Existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the Wiring Regulations may not comply with the 18th edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.

      It is good practice for landlords with existing reports to check these reports and decide whether the electrical installation complies with electrical safety standards. Landlords might also wish to contact the inspector who provided a report to ensure the installation complies with electrical safety standards.”

      Obviously, EICRs completed after 1st Jan 2019 will have been completed to the 18th edition and are therefore OK to use until the 5 year date runs out. EICRs completed between 1st July 2015 & 1st Jan 2019 were completed under the 17th edition (Amendment 3). There was no significant change within the 18th edition regulations which meant that a 17th edition electrical installation which had complied and was safe to use, suddenly became unsafe for continued use. There was also little change in the way testing is completed, so there is no margin for error introduced by differing test regimes.
      The regulation asks the landlord to check with the inspector to verify the safety of the installation. Certainly with our landlords/customers, where we have completed a 17th edition EICR in the timeframe outlined above, and all highlighted remedial works were completed at that time (if applicable), then the installation should still be safe for continued use were an 18th edition EICR completed. We will advise our customers this would comply as per the guidelines outlined by GOV.UK

      I hope this clears things up a little bit? It’s a difficult one to get around for sure, and in some cases can be reading more about what the regulations DON’T say rather than what they DO say!

      If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me or leave another comment and I will do my best to be of assistance.

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • stu
    10th June 2020

    Is there a certain test certificate available

    • ElectricBluContractors
      14th June 2020

      Hello Stu, thanks for posting the question.

      These tests need to be completed on the standard EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) or DEICR (Domestic Electrical Condition Report) form if available. There is no new test certificate/report for the new regulations.

      Hope that helps answer your question?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • David Blanchflower
    14th June 2020

    Can I ask one of my rented properties has a plastic fuse board fitted five years ago under the new regulators for landlords and electrical testing do I need to have that fuse board changed to a metal one?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      14th June 2020

      Hello David, thank you for posting the question. This is something which a number of landlords have asked me over the previous couple of weeks via the live chat and I will update the guide to contain this following information:

      Whilst a lot of electricians are taking the regulations very literally and suggesting that installations need upgrading to the standard in the 18th edition, the Governments own guide to these regulations confirms that this is not the case.

      If you check the GOV.UK Landlord Guidance, specifically section 8 (further questions), you will see that they state:

      “Existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the Wiring Regulations may not comply with the 18th edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading”

      Obviously, the key here is that the installation must be safe for continued use. Although I can’t comment on your property in particular (as I have not seen it), the fact that the consumer unit is plastic as opposed to metal does not render it unsafe for continued use.

      Hope that clears the issue up?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors, Your Local Electrician in Wakefield

  • Chris Howard
    14th June 2020

    Hi James, I really like your article. As an electrical contractor myself it is most useful. Thank you for taking the time to write it. Good luck with your business.

    • ElectricBluContractors
      14th June 2020

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Chris, it is very much appreciated!

  • Mark Ribbands
    18th June 2020

    Thanks for an interesting and refreshingly honest article.
    It’s interesting that the GOV.UK Landlord Guidance (S 8) implies that satisfactory 17th ed’n installations (with say a plastic CU) are OK.
    BUT guidance is just that. It does not change the law
    And the law clearly states that the only acceptable standard is 18th ed’n. So, in law, any non-18th work is non-compliant.
    It’s clearly a c–k up by the legal draftsman, who was too specific in the definition.
    I wonder what will happen now …

  • Antoinette
    19th June 2020

    The statutory guidance that came out today on the gov.UK website states that the electrical checks apply to existing tenancies from April 2020. My letting agent has contacted me today to say that as my property was let from 1st June, under the new published guidance which came out today, i have until the end of the month to arrange for electrical testing, and not until April next year which is suggested on your website. Please could you confirm which information is correct. Thanks

    • ElectricBluContractors
      22nd June 2020

      Hello Antoinette

      Sadly the GOV.UK guidance which was published on Friday was withdrawn on the same day due to the conflicting information contained within. For further clarification on this please visit the following site: https://thenegotiator.co.uk/ministry-withdraws-guidance-on-new-electrical-safety-regulations-after-confusion-in-text

      I can confirm that if your property was let from the 1st June, then it will not require testing until April 2021. PLEASE NOTE however, that if your tenancy is a periodic tenancy and renews before April 2021, even if it is renewed with the same tenant, it will be classed as a ‘new tenancy’ at that time and will require an electrical inspection at that point.

      I hope that was of some help to you? Please feel free to direct your letting agent to this article, particularly my reply to your query.

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Gary Holmes
    24th June 2020

    Hi a very interesting blog well done!

    I do have a question, I have a rental property which has a consumer unit with one half covered by an RCD (Sockets, oven and hob) and the other half not covered by RCD ( lights, shower and a heater) am I right in thinking I will need to get the consumer unit upgraded so ALL circuits are protected by an RCD? I was told that all rental properties have to at least comply with the 17th edition regulations or is that not true?

    Thanks
    Gary

    • ElectricBluContractors
      9th July 2020

      Thank you for taking the time to pose the question Gary.
      There has been a lot of debate in the electrical industry over the application of these regulations. As a company ourselves, we follow the guidance from our industry body that we are a member of. That particular body (Certsure) represents both ELECSA and NICEIC. Their guidance is that the industry standard document Best Practice Guide 4 (EICRs) is followed. This document lists a number of different conditions found within properties and the recommendations of the codes they should receive on an EICR. The circuits you have listed on your question are typical of a 16th edition split load consumer unit. These were installed frequently within the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Although it is impossible to give ‘specific advice’ without having looked over the property, this in itself would not cause a C2 – potentially dangerous issue, IE: one which would ‘fail’ the report.

      However I do know that NAPIT (another electrical industry body) publish a book called ‘Codebreakers’. Again, this lists a number of conditions found within properties and gives a list of EICR codes based on those conditions. If you look through this book, you will find that some problems caused by the 16th edition split load (No RCD on lighting circuits) are recommended to be listed as C2 issue and fail the report.

      My recommendation would be that you speak to a trusted local electrician and raise this with them first. They should give you an indication on which stance they choose to follow.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help but this all depends on the particular electrician who completes the report.

      Regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Whitton
    25th June 2020

    What if you already have a certificate issued that runs out in 2021?
    This must apply to many people
    Is the new legislation retrospectively cancelling existing certificates ?
    It’s soo confusing !

    • ElectricBluContractors
      9th July 2020

      Hello

      No, the new legislation does not cancel previously completed EICRs. If you have an EICR completed within the last 5 years, (hence was completed in 2016 in your case) then this will comply with the new regulations.

      It will simply need renewing before the ‘expiry date’ in 2021.

      Hope that helped?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • STANLEY jackson
    30th June 2020

    James…I want to thank you on behalf of every private landlord for your overall advice and guidance..which as you are aware are not always..Landlord friendly…for you to take up the challenge and answer the questions people put to you in a way ..that most Landlords can understand…I salute you my friend…and long may you continue,,

    • ElectricBluContractors
      9th July 2020

      Thank you very much for your kind words! It’s great to know that I can help ‘demystify’ some of the electrical regulations.

      If there is anything else in particular you need any advice on, don’t hesitate to let me know and I will do my best to assist

      Kind regards
      James – Local Electrician in Wakefield

  • Chris Moore
    2nd July 2020

    Hi James,

    We are about to renew a residential tenancy for another year ( existing tenant has been there for a year ). Our lettings agency claims that an 18th series compliance certificate wont be required until April 21st for a tenancy renewal unless the tenant has moved out for any period of time. Having read your excellent article I presume this is in fact not the case ?

    How much should we expect to pay if a compliance certificate is needed, & can you recommend any electrician in Leics ?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      15th July 2020

      Hello Mr Moore, thank you for getting in touch.

      The GOV.UK guide has actually cleared this issue up a little in the latest update to their official guidance to compliance. The latest advice depends on the type of tenancy and how the tenancy as per below. Please also see the official document on this guidance HERE

      For ‘contractual periodic tenancies’ – where it is written in the original tenancy agreement that on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will become periodic – the periodic tenancy will be part of the same tenancy and no new tenancy will be created.

      For ‘statutory periodic tenancies’ – where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy will be a new tenancy.
      Properties let on statutory periodic tenancies where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021 will require an inspection and test at this point under the Regulations.

      I hope that is more help? Perhaps you can double check the tenancy type from that list with your agent if you are not sure.

      Kind regards
      James Raby
      ElectricBlu Contractors

  • DAVE
    8th July 2020

    DOES THIS APPLY TO COMMERCIAL RENTALS TOO?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      10th July 2020

      Hello Dave, thanks for getting in touch

      No, the new regulations do not apply to commercial rentals, only to privately rented houses.
      However I would seriously recommend that if you are a commercial landlord you consider the benefits of having an EICR completed on your property. This provides you with both peace of mind, and a safety net against prosecution should there be any electrical accidents within your premises.

      Hope that helps
      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Max
    12th July 2020

    Hi James, thanks for the info. I have four rental properties, all new builds completed within the last 3 years. I have two already tested with EIRC, and the other two have EIC from the builders, we’ll be getting those EIRC tested in due course. Can you advise (as I’ve had conflicting advice and even the .gov website doesn’t make it clear), am I required to have an EIRC carried out before every new tenancy from here on forth? Or just every 5 years as advised on the EIRC report?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      15th July 2020

      Hi Max, thank you for getting in touch with the question.

      I can confirm that the new legislation requires that you need to have an EICR completed every 5 years, and not at each new tenancy, if it is within that 5 year timeframe. There are some certain instances where the inspecting electrician may require the ‘retest period’ to be shorter than 5 years. In practice this would only be for an installation in very poor order that, whilst not quite failing the tests, is certainly borderline and might not safely make it to the next 5 year interval.

      However: There is still a duty of care on landlords to be providing a safe electrical installation in their properties. If a tenant moves out then a visual inspection should definitely be completed. This doesn’t even have to be an electrician to be fair, just a common sense check that sockets & switches aren’t damaged and that everything is in working order prior to the new tenant taking over.

      Be aware that you will need to give a copy of the EICR which is in date at the current time to the new tenant. If an agent is managing your property then they should really be doing this, but it’s one to be aware of if you self-manage.

      Hope that was useful?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Nick Pitts
    14th July 2020

    Hi
    Your comments are very helpful indeed – thank you.
    As a landlord can you confirm a couple of things for me, please.
    One MCB in the consumer unit is a different make to the others – does that matter at all?
    What is the maximum number of spured sockets that can be allowed on a 32A ring main?
    If the main cut out fuse is 80amp, is it OK to have 16mm meter tails, with 10mm earthing bond?
    Kind regards, and again – many thanks for your help.
    Nick

    • ElectricBluContractors
      15th July 2020

      Hello Nick thanks for getting in touch. Glad to hear that the guide was helpful. I’ve been getting asked quite a lot of questions about the implementation of the regulations and this particular page is becoming a bit fragmented. I plan to expand on all these FAQs in the next couple of days so keep a look out for that!

      In response to your questions:

      One MCB in the consumer unit is a different make to the others – does that matter at all?

      On the EICR Section 4.14: Compatibility of protective devices, bases and other components; correct type and rating in a nutshell requires that the circuit breakers are the same type. Whilst I couldn’t give you a definitive answer without having seen your particular board, the main problem is different brands that are different sizes. These often get bodged into the board because older circuit breakers can be awkward to come by. This obviously, is a problem.
      However, a lot of MCB companies make more than one particular brand. In these instances, the circuit breakers are identical apart from the name on the front. In this instance, it may warrant a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED code be given, which would not fail the EICR ‘on it’s own’.

      What is the maximum number of spured sockets that can be allowed on a 32A ring main?

      There is no maximum amount of sockets which are allowed to be part of the ring (the reccomendation is more based on floor area in square meters)

      Each ‘point’ on the ring itself is allowed to have either one single, or one double socket spurred directly from that original point.

      There is no limit to the number of sockets which can be spurred from one ‘point’ on the ring itself, however a 13A Fused Connection Unit (AKA Fused Spur) must be placed as the only spur initially, then the rest of the sockets/points need to be on the other side of the 13A BS1362 fuse. This is to protect against the possibility of overloading the ring circuit in one particular place.

      If the main cut out fuse is 80amp, is it OK to have 16mm meter tails, with 10mm earthing bond?

      If the main cut out fuse is 80A then 16mm tails are OK, as long as they are not passed through any significant lengths of insulation as this derates the cable.

      I assume you mean that the main protective bonding (to gas & water pipework usually) is 10mm? If so then this is up to scratch for all earthing arrangements.

      However you did not mention the main earthing conductor between the incoming service head and your consumer unit. The type of earthing arrangement at your particular property will dictate different sizes however if it is a PME supply then it will need a 16mm main earthing conductor.

      Hope that was of some help?

      Kind regards
      James – Your Local Electrician in Wakefield

      • Nick Pitts
        15th July 2020

        Thank you so much for your advice and very helpful comments.
        I have a couple more questions now
        The 1995 Crabtree consumer unit has a split load – 5 circuits protected by an RCD, the others not.
        It is the Starbreaker type, so it is not really possible to add another RCD to protect the other circuits. I understand that the new regs state that all circuits should be RCD protected, so I wondered if the easiest thing is to replace the non-protected MCBs with individual RCBOs of the correct rating.

        • ElectricBluContractors
          16th July 2020

          Hello again,

          The requirement for ‘all circuits to be RCD protected’ is more geared towards new installations. Lack of RCDs to lighting circuits and other similar circuits (IE: not sockets) should really only attract a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED code should an EICR be completed. As such there would be no hard and fast requirement to upgrade these circuits to RCD protected.

          However, RCD protection is a great upgrade to the safety of the installation. If you did decide to add RCD protection to your installation then RCBOs are the best way to achieve this in any circumstance. Certainly with the type of busbar within Crabtree Starbreaker boards, it is often the only way to add RCD protection.

          Kind regards
          James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Nick Pitts
    15th July 2020

    Thank you so much for your advice and very helpful comments.
    I have a couple more questions now
    The 1995 Crabtree consumer unit has a split load – 5 circuits protected by an RCD, the others not.
    It is the Starbreaker type, so it is not really possible to add another RCD to protect the other circuits. I understand that the new regs state that all circuits should be RCD protected, so I wondered if the easiest thing is to replace the non-protected MCBs with individual RCBOs of the correct rating.

  • Nick Pitts
    15th July 2020

    Thank you for all your comments!

    My other questions regarding the new EICR certificates are:
    1. Do existing non-metal (i.e. plastic) consumer units have to be replaced with metal units to pass the EICR test?
    2. I have a property with a Wylex Con Unit (6 MCBs) which is protected by a separate RCD between the meter and the consumer unit, will that fail the new regs – as if the RCD trips everything goes off ..
    Many thanks again for all your help! Nick

    • ElectricBluContractors
      16th July 2020

      Hello again,

      1: No – there is no requirement to upgrade 17th edition plastic boards to metal in order to pass the EICR. According to the Electrical Safety First Best Practice Guide 4 (on completing EICRs), a plastic consumer unit would only be a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED issue when underneath a wooden staircase. If the consumer unit is elsewhere, then the issue would not even warrant a fault code. Be aware that we have been asked many many times by landlords who have been told they need to upgrade their 3-4 year old consumer units to metal in order to pass the EICR. This is not the case, and it would seem that there is either some misunderstanding by the testing electrician, or they are trying to create remedial work in order to make more money. This is a good reason to not necessarily always look for the cheapest EICR possible and find a good, reliable electrician.

      2: Based purely on what you described, I would code this as a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED issue. The up front RCD causes no danger, or potential danger. It is only inconvenient in the sense that any fault will trip everything. This was a common way of installing RCDs a few years back. If it was a new installation then it would need what is called ‘selectivity’ between the devices such that it does not cut everything off. However, this is not a new installation, hence a C3 would be my coding for this issue.

      I’d suggest taking these issues up with the inspecting electrician who should be able to talk through his thoughts on the coding that applies for each issue.

      Hope that helped?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

      • Nick Pitts
        17th July 2020

        That helps a great deal.
        I have had very confusing advice from an electrician who I asked to carry out an EICR – obviously looking for work to be carried out unnecessarily – hence my questions above.
        I had guessed that some of the advice he was giving me was somewhat incorrect or at best vague – and your answers have confirmed what I thought.
        I will look for a different local electrician for future EICR inspections!
        Thanks again, Nick

    • Bob Treacy
      17th July 2020

      I have existing Electrical Safety Certificate on a new build property which was for 10 years, my management agents are now saying as it has less then 5 year left of it I have to have EICR done to meet the new regulations. Is this correct, I not seen anything to say this is the case.

      • ElectricBluContractors
        20th July 2020

        Hello Mr Treacy, thanks for asking the question.

        In regards to the latest regulations, it would seem that there is no initial 10-year allowance on new installations as previous guidance from the IET specified. However, the IET guidance does now stipulate that rental properties are recommended to be tested every 5 years, any ’10 year’ installation certificates are meant for pure domestic use only (as opposed to rental). This is as per the information in IET guidance note 3 – Inspection & Testing.

        It’s not so much that it has less than 5 year left to run; more that ’10 years’ is not a recognised length of time to the next inspection as per these regulations.

        Their advice is a little skewed, however the property will require an EICR completing if it was 5+ years since the last ‘inspection & testing’ was completed.

        Hope that helps?

        Kind regards
        James – ElectricBlu Contractors – Local Electrician in Wakefield

  • Andrew
    17th July 2020

    I had a EICR carried out which is marked unsatisfactory with the following.
    There is no cpc (earthing conductor in the downstairs or upstairs lighting circuits C1 Entire house.
    The quote from the electrician to put right seemed high, and i now have a much lower quote someone else from the electricalcompetentperson list.
    My question is: Is it like a MOT do you need another EICR to be carried out and come back clean. Or is it just the case of getting proof the work to put right has taken place?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      20th July 2020

      Hello Andrew, that’s a good way to phrase the question!

      There is no need to have another EICR completed in this instance. As you alternatively suggest, you just need proof that the remedial work has been completed.

      When the electrician completes the remedial works, he will issue you with one of two documents, either a MEIWC (Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate) or an EIC (Electrical Installation Certificate) <<< Note this is different to an EICR!

      These documents differ from the EICR in that they certify the work completed by the installing electrician only, rather than a report on everything as is the case with an EICR.

      Whether the electrician gives you an MEIWC or an EIC will depend on what exact work he is doing. Any type of rewiring, large replacement of cable should have an EIC completed. As the name suggests, a Minor Works certificate is for more small-scale works.

      Once you have this document you simply append/staple/put in folder alongside the original EICR. This confirms that the work was found, and has now been repaired. This sort of thing can be invaluable to create a paper chain (a bit like a car service history) for the history of the electrical installation in the property. Should issues ever arise, it is always easier to deal with problems if there is good existing paperwork which confirms the state of the installation.

      Hope that was helpful?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • James
    17th July 2020

    Hi
    Interesting to read about the rules over EIRC checks.
    On electrician told me ALL circuits have to be RCD protected.
    Another said that mains smoke alarms MUST NOT be RCD protected …
    Which is actually correct?
    Thanks James

    • ElectricBluContractors
      25th July 2020

      Thanks for getting in touch and asking the question.

      Under the 18th edition, the requirement to RCD protect a circuit is based on 4 different regulatory requirements:

      – All sockets must have RCD protection (certainly within a domestic setting, risk assessments are allowed to omit RCD protection in commercial settings)
      – Any cables which are buried less than 50mm from the wall surface require RCD protection (pretty much any cable buried in a wall in a domestic setting)
      – Any circuits which serve a location containing a bath or shower must have RCD protection (think bathroom lights, towel rail, shower)
      – Any circuits which serve lights within a domestic property must have RCD protection

      With regards smoke alarms, there is no specific requirement to RCD protect these, however in 99.9% of cases the cable will be buried less than 50mm from the wall surface, hence will require RCD protection.

      Be aware, that there is no requirement to add RCD protection to any circuit serving smoke alarms in order for it to pass an EICR

      Hope that helps?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Robert Harper
    18th July 2020

    Dear James,

    The new EICR rules for landlords are very confusing, and like others who have commented I find electricians attempting to ‘make’ work, and for those of us who don’t know the regs, we have to really do what we are told.
    One property I own has a bathroom fan connected direct to the bathroom light, so it is always on when the light is switched on. There is no loft access, so the fan is connected by a mini trunking. There is no ‘over run’ and no isolator switch. Is this a fail?

    • ElectricBluContractors
      25th July 2020

      Hello Robert, thanks for getting in touch with the question.

      Firstly, I’d advise speaking to any electrician ‘up front’ before they complete the test at your properties, hence you can get a feel for how they will code any fault and whether or not they will follow the best practice with regards EICR coding.

      Based on what you have described, if I were testing this particular property I would not fail the report simply based on the information you have provided. Although the manufacturers instructions for the fan may require a fused spur installing and double pole isolation, this would generally be a C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED issue. This would not cause the test result to be unsatisfactory on it’s own.

      Hope that is of help?
      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Colin Giles
    23rd July 2020

    Hello, I am a private landlord and had an EICR produced in April 2018, which was all OK with no remedial work required. I had this done to assure tennant safety and for my own peace of mind. It looks as though, 2 years later, that I have to get another EICR in order to comply with the 18th Edition Standards. Is this your understanding? If not, are there any Government docs that you could point me at in support of compliance without another EICR. Many thanks, Colin.

    • ElectricBluContractors
      25th July 2020

      Hello Colin, thanks for getting in touch and asking the question.

      The governments guide to landlords on these latest regulations states the following (section 8 further questions):

      If an inspection took place and a satisfactory report was issued before the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations came into force, but less than 5 years ago, will a landlord always need to have the property inspected again as soon as the Electrical Safety Regulations come into force?
      Regulation 3 requires that landlords have the electrical installation inspected and tested at intervals of no longer than every 5 years. Electrical safety standards (the 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations) must be met throughout the period of that tenancy.

      The 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations came into effect in 2019, so if a landlord already has a report for a property that was carried out after this date and has complied with all the other requirements of the Regulations, they won’t have to have another inspection for 5 years, provided the report does not state that the next inspection should take place sooner.

      Existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the Wiring Regulations may not comply with the 18th edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.

      It is good practice for landlords with existing reports to check these reports and decide whether the electrical installation complies with electrical safety standards. Landlords might also wish to contact the inspector who provided a report to ensure the installation complies with electrical safety standards.

      You can check this guidance out on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector

      Although I cannot comment on your particular EICR without having seen it, certainly with our own customers, I am advising that EICRs completed before the 18th edition would still meet the requirements of the latest regulations

      Hope that helps?
      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • David Collier
    3rd August 2020

    Hello, I am a private ‘accidental’ landlord and now have these regulations to adhere to. I have had an inspection and EICR has been issued, unfortunately as unsatisfactory. One of the two C2 faults was ‘no smoke alarms on fire escape routes’ , however it is a very modest two bed end of terrace that has 3 x working smoke alarms , in lounge, upstairs bedroom and half way up stairs. Has something changed to needing one on each habitable floor only?
    Great comment thread.
    Thanks

    • ElectricBluContractors
      5th August 2020

      Hello Mr Collier, thanks for getting in touch with the question.

      There is absolutely no inspection of smoke alarms on an EICR. The smoke alarm regulations are completely separate and are not part of the EICR in any way. An EICR is simply a test of the electrical safety of the property in accordance with BS7671 (The Requirements For Electrical Installations). Smoke alarms and their placements are not part of BS7671
      You are correct in your question, the requirements (under the Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Regulations 2015) are that you only need one on each habitable floor.
      Although there is no particular mention of placement within this standard, other than ‘one on each floor’, it is best practice to cover the escape route to ensure maximum safety. In this instance, if the alarms are just battery and can be easily moved, would be to put the alarm in the downstairs hallway.

      However, the electrician cannot give you a C2 for this. If you are looking for some official documentation to back this up please see the following on PAGE 16 ‘Items Worthy Of Note That Do Not Warrant a Classification Code’ – Absence of smoke alarm system. And that is discussing an absence, not simply one not being in the ‘best practice’ position.

      Hope that was of some help? Out of interest, what was the other C2 if you don’t mind sharing?

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

  • Malcolm Helmore
    5th August 2020

    My Letting Agent has informed me that the plastic consumer unit must be changed to a metal one (unless located in a non risk area) which will typically cost me £660. I have read if the plastic unit is not underneath a staircase or not within the only route of escape from the house then it doesn’t need changing. However, if plastic units are underneath a wooden staircase or only route of escape then it needs changing? Any Comments, must the unit be changed to metal? Thank you

    • ElectricBluContractors
      5th August 2020

      Hello Mr Helmore, thanks for getting in touch.

      This is a popular question at the moment and I am hearing from a lot of landlords that electricians are suggesting that plastic boards (even ones installed as recently as 5 years ago) are now somehow ‘illegal’ and require upgrade. This is nonsense. We base our inspection & testing coding on a document called ‘Best Practice Guide 4 – EICR‘ <<<< if you click here you can take a look at what it says about plastic boards on PAGE 15. In a nutshell, plastic boards which are in the sole escape route from the property or under a wooden staircase are to be considered a C3 - IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED item. This is akin to an advisory on an MOT and is simply to highlight where safety may be improved. It is not a reason to fail the test, you can have any number of C3 code items and the test could still be satisfactory. However, on PAGE 16 of that document, it confirms that if the board is NOT in the sole route of escape or under a wooden staircase, this is not even worthy of a classification code. The document goes on to suggest that if unsatisfactory connections are found within, then this should be raised as a POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS issue. This is slightly misleading in the sense that even if the board was made from metal, and it had unsatisfactory connections within, it would still fail the test based on the connections themselves. Further, the governments own guide on these regulations WHICH CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING HERE on ‘Section 8: Further Questions’ has a question entitled: Will all installations have to comply with the 18th edition, even if they were installed before this edition was in force?

      The upshot is, as long as they are not ‘unsafe’ or present a potential of danger, there is no requirement to upgrade to the 18th edition standards It also clarifies, the ‘C3’ classification code a little more.

      Hope that helped at all? If you could let me know the outcome it would be much appreciated, I am very much trying to build a picture of how misunderstood these regulations are.

      Kind regards
      James – ElectricBlu Contractors

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