Electrical safety - final deadline
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 made changes to the Repairing Standard in respect of electrical safety, explains John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL).
It requires landlords have to have fixed wiring Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) checks carried out at least every five years.
This applies from the following dates:
- 1 December 2015 – this was the deadline for any new tenancies entered into on or after this date (this included current tenants signing a new lease)
- 1 December 2016 - for existing tenancies
The EICR report must include an appliance check report a Portable Appliance Test (PAT). PAT checks are required on appliances provided by the landlord, but not those belonging to the tenant.
EICR checks carried out between 1st January 2012 and 30th November 2015 by a competent electrician are acceptable, even if they do not include an appliance check. For example, an EICR carried out on 30th November 2015 without PAT checks would still be valid for up to 5 years, to end November 2020.
Anything that is movable and fitted with a plug should be on the PAT report. Everything in the property which uses the electrical supply must be on either EICR or PAT, unless it belongs to the tenant.
It is advisable to have the checks carried out more frequently than five yearly, if recommended by an electrician.
It is a requirement that landlords ensure that the electricians they use are competent. Electricians should be a member of SELECT, NAPIT or NICEIC or be able to complete the checklist in Annex A of the guidance. (check PRHP link below)
The PAT test can be carried out by a landlord/ letting agent provided they have undergone relevant training, such as that provided by Landlord Accreditation Scotland (see Annex C of the guidance for details). The PAT check can also be carried out at a different time to the EICR check, provided both are carried out at least every 5 years.
EICRs and PATs carried out from 1 December 2015 must be documented on the forms specified on pages 14 and 21 of the guidance in order to be acceptable under the regulations.
In addition, all appliances checked must have test labels placed on them.
For more information on required forms and competency see the SAL factsheet entitled Electrical Safety Check Forms & Competency.
New build/newly rewired properties meet the standard, provided an in-date Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) is in place. An appliance that was purchased new less than one year before the date of the PAT check does not require to be tested, but it should be listed on the PAT report and the date that its first test is due clearly recorded.
All landlords and letting agents are advised to read the guidance in full to familiarise themselves with the detail of the requirements. Landlords and letting agents are invited to join the Scottish Association of Landlords for access to advice and resources to assist them with private sector letting in Scotland.
Statutory guidance on the requirement can be downloaded via the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP)