The Scottish Government have recently published guidance on mandatory electrical check requirements which shall come into force from 1 December 2015. Rory Cowan from TC Young Solicitors gives us the low down:
The new requirements issued under sections 13(4A) and 19B (4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 will apply to all Scottish privately rented properties covered by the Repairing Standard. Landlords will be required to have fixed wiring Electrical Installation Condition Report checks carried out at their properties at least every five years. Though the regulations will apply to all private tenancies, the fixed wiring check requirement will be applied in stages.
While landlords of tenancies entered into on or after 1 December 2015 will need to comply with the requirements at the date of signing the tenancy, landlords of tenancies in existence prior to 1 December 2015 will only be required to comply as of 1 December 2016.
Within the published guidance, all Electrical Installation Condition Reports must also include a Portable Appliance Test (PAT). Portable Appliance Tests will need to be carried out on all appliances provided by the landlord, but there will be no obligation to test items belonging to the tenant.
Landlords must ensure that all tests are carried out by a competent person. In Scotland, that will usually mean electricians who are members of SELECT (Scotland's trade association for the electrical industry) or NICEIC (a voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry). Failing membership, any electrician instructed to complete electrical testing on behalf of the landlord should be able to confirm various points detailed in Annex A of the published guidance.
In addition to this, all EICRs and PATs carried out from 1 December 2015 will be required to be documented on the forms specified on pages 12 and 14 of the guidance in order to comply with the regulations. All appliances which have been checked will also be required to have test labels placed on them.
Any failure to comply with the new electrical check regulations may result in the Private Rented Housing Panel issuing a “Repairing Standard Enforcement Order” and ultimately a rent penalty. Breaching a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order could amount to a criminal offence.
For more information or advice, please contact the Free Lettings Email Service for Members.