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New EICR Rules: Electrical Checks Become Mandatory for Rented Property from 1st July 2020

Originally published at: https://blog.openrent.co.uk/new-eicr-rules-electrical-checks-become-mandatory-for-rented-property-from-1st-july-2020/

Landlords with properties in England will need to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in order to let their English properties from 1st July 2020. The requirement will extend to all tenancies in England from 1st April 2021. The First EICR Deadline: 1st July 2020 A Electrical Installation Condition Report must be acquired before…

The majority of my properties are modern (built within the last 10 years) so I have the building regs electrical installation certificates. Do I still need the new EICR check even though I have the build certificates?

Hi Hannah, from what I’ve read, I can’t see any exemptions for your situation in the statutory instrument that is being used to bring about this change in the law.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934

So it sounds like you will need an EICR if starting a new tenancy agreement from 1st July 2020.

Sam

Hi, do you know if renewal of the contract is treated as “new specified tenancy” or existing?

Hi Sam, it’s ironic that a property built in 2018 has a new build electrical installation certificate yet I have to pay again to have a landlord certificate!
Hannah

Hi Hannah, yes it is certainly frustrating for landlords.

One thing I would say is that the government published a report on new-build quality in 2019 and found serious issues. Therefore, to let new builds off the new standards would be to fail to learn from that report.

You can read it here if of interest.

New-build housing: construction defects - issues and solutions (England)

Sam

Hi Agnes, a renewal would be a new tenancy, because it forms a new tenancy agreement between all parties.

Sam

I obtained an OpenRent EICR immediately before my new tenants started in July 2019. I have 2 questions :
a) 1 year later I now need to choose whether to continue the tenancy by letting it rollover into a Periodic Tenancy or to raise a new AST for another 12 months. If I raise a new AST does that constitute “a new tenancy” in the Government’s new EICR rules and therefore does it force me to have another EICR done?
b) When the OpenRent EICR was done the report found no issues but stated a recommended re-inspection date of 3 years not 5. Looking at the Government’s new EICR rules does that mean that I am forced to have the EICR done again at the 3 year mark or can I leave it until the 5 year mark (if the same tenancy has continued that long)?

Sorry, just to be specific in my question a submitted just now.
a cont) But if I allow it to rollover into a Periodic Tenancy does that mean I do not have to have a new EICR done?

Hi Evany,

A tenancy agreement lapsing into a periodic tenancy does not constitute a new tenancy under the new legislation. But you don’t need a new EICR for every new tenancy, anyway. You simply need to have one for the property that is still valid. They usually last 5 years, like how EPCs last for 10 years.

If the report stated to reinspect in 3 years, then I believe that this must be done, since the Act requires the landlord to perform all the work recommended in the report.

Sam

Thank you Sam,
I also checked with the NRLA Members Advice Line. They advised the same basic rule that you only need to have a valid one in place rather than do a new test at the start of each new tenancy.

NRLA qualified the periodic tenancy further. They said that by law a rolled over periodic tenancy is considered to be a new tenancy when the initial tenancy agreement just lapses into a periodic tenancy. They said the law changed about 3 years ago to say this and that’s why they rewrote their Tenancy Agreements to include a ‘Contractual’ clause. This states explicitly that when the initial agreement term finishes it will become a Periodic Tenancy, as opposed to allowing it to naturally roll into one without any mention of it. The tenancy then becomes known as a Contractual Periodic Tenancy. NRLA say this would then be seen in the eyes of the law as a continuing tenancy rather than a new tenancy. For a non-contractual periodic tenancy the landlord would need to reissue all the compliancy documents that a new tenant would require, even though they received them a year earlier, including the latest government How To Rent guide.

On the ‘reinspect after 3 years’ question. The NRLA said that the law states the EICR has to be normally done every 5 years. The adviser said that if the re-test date on the current EICR is only a Recommended date (which it is on my form) and there are no issues raised in the comments section of the form (which there weren’t) then the re-test deadline for me is 5 years not 3.

What do you feel about the NRLA advice above?

Just to be more clear the above sentence should have said
This states explicitly that when the initial agreement term finishes (in the absence of any other action) it will become a Periodic Tenancy, as opposed to allowing it to naturally roll into one without any mention of it.

You have to have one (EICR) by April 2021 anyway for al your tenancies no matter what so it seems like a load of palava over nothing. More work for the boys I suppose. More red tape to catch the little fish out.