What electrical safety standards does my HMO need to meet?

Hello readers! I’ve had a busy couple of weeks assisting investors and landlords with their investments. Also, I have officially launched a property sourcing and refurbishment company Upgraded Investments  with a business partner.

This is an exciting venture for us and we look forward to working with our investors who are looking for packaged deals as well as providing property sourcing and refurbishment services. I will explain more about this over the coming months!

One thing I have recently been spending time reading however, is how the government is proposing that from July this year, mandatory electrical safety checks will be rolled out to the private rented sector with checks also needing to be completed before each new tenant moves in. Mandatory electrical inspections is something that is already in place for HMOs with pretty big fines of up to £30,000 for landlords who don’t comply.

Something that I regularly discuss with prospective and current landlords is the relevant regulations and legislation that impact them and questions regarding electrical certs are very common. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your property is safe and fit for habitation. Meeting electrical standards is a massive part of this.

So, what certificates do I need for my HMO I hear you ask? There is one mandatory certificate that you need to have in place to meet regulations and keep your tenants safe. This is your Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR) and an annual PAT test.

Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR)

It is a legal requirement to have this report completed every five years. It includes a full assessment of the condition of the electrical system in your HMO.

The assessment will ensure that you meet the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations. Some examples of faults it could identity are:

  • Any issue with circuits or equipment that might overload or overheat the system
  • Areas of electric shock risks and fire hazards
  • Safety issues with bonding or earthing of installations and equipment
  • Potential faulty electrical work that could lead to faults or injury

Where the ECIR identifies that remedial work is needed, it will need to be carried out before a new report is issued and the system signed off.

Your ECIR must be carried out by a qualified electrician and you must retain the certificate, providing it within seven days if your Local Authority requests it.

PAT Testing

PAT testing is a legal requirement as HMO landlords are required to ensure that electrical appliances are safe. Not doing this, risks landlords being sued for negligence should something go wrong or being fined.

PAT tests need to be completed annually and cover appliances that are provided as part of a tenancy. They must be carried out by a trained person and that certificates are kept safe with the ECIR.

In the event that something does go wrong (such as a fire or electric shock), having a PAT test certificate for the relevant appliance will provide protection to the landlord and can be used as evidence in the event of any claim.

In my view, having the ECIR and PAT tests as a mandatory is something which is really important. It helps weed out rouge landlords and make sure that tenants are kept safe.

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