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By Bay Estate Agents
The long-delayed Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will finally be implemented by the Welsh Government on 15th July 2022. As well as changes to tenancy documents and notice periods, it introduces significant new requirements and obligations for Landlords renting homes in Wales. One such requirement is for Periodic Inspection and Testing (PIT) and for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to be produced for every property.
The long-delayed Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will finally be implemented by the Welsh Government on 15th July 2022.
As well as changes to tenancy documents and notice periods, it introduces significant new requirements and obligations for Landlords renting homes in Wales.
One such requirement is for Periodic Inspection and Testing (PIT) and for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to be produced for every property.
Periodic Inspection & Testing
The PIT is to be conducted by a qualified person, such as a registered electrician, to ensure the property is safe for continued use. Testing will reveal if any of the electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded, whilst also highlighting any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards. In addition, the electrician will identify any defective electrical work and highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Once completed, the electrician will issue the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which will record any deterioration, defects and any non-compliance that might give rise to danger, along with recommendations to rectify.
Regularity of testing
The new legislation requires Landlords to have their electrical installation tested every five years, unless the previous report/certificate has indicated that a shorter timeframe is necessary.
Visual checks of fixtures such as plug sockets and lights, as well as appliances and cables, are still highly recommended during visits to the property.
Disclosure to tenants
Tenants (or contract-holders, as they are known under the new legislation) must be provided with a copy of the certificate within seven days of the start of their tenancy. They must also be provided with written confirmation of any work that may have been conducted following recommendations made on the certificate.
Subsequently, when a new report is produced, tenants must be issued a copy within seven days, and they must be advised in writing if work is conducted considering recommendations made within the report.
The consequences for not complying
Faulty electrics can seriously increase the risk of fire and injury/loss of life.
Properties will be deemed unfit for human habitation where there is not a valid electrical safety certificate, and rent will not be payable by the tenant for the unfit period.
What is the timescale for Landlords to become compliant?
Where there is already a tenancy in place when the Act is implemented on 15th July 2022, landlords will have a year to comply with the new electrical safety certificate and smoke alarm requirements, giving them until 15th July 2023 to make the necessary arrangements. However, if a new tenancy is created within that year, Landlords will need to comply sooner.
Want to know more? Head on over to the Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2022/6/made) or Welsh Government’s accompanying guidance (https://gov.wales/fitness-homes-human-habitation-guidance-landlords-html#section-88908).
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