Officials at the Ministry of Communities and Local Government have pulled the latest update to the Electrical Safety Standards after LandlordZONE pointed out that discrepancies in its wording were causing confusion among landlords and the wider industry.

Yesterday MHCLG updated its guidance on the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 which suggested that landlords must ensure that national standards for electrical safety are met within their properties by June 1st despite originally stating that they had a month after that date to comply.

This could have meant that millions of landlords were suddenly not compliant with the regulations and who could in theory be issued with a remedial notice by their local council.

An MHCLG spokesperson has now clarified that the update published yesterday has indeed been causing more problems that it was solving and that, therefore, officials are to roll back the new guidance and re-publish the original version.

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“The guidance is complicated and is intended for both landlords, agents and local authorities and therefore it needs to be clearer so we’re going to go back to the original and work on making it clearer,” she said. “We are grateful to LandlordZONE for highlighting this.”

Sean Hooker, Head of Redress at the Property Redress Scheme, says: “The sudden and unannounced update yesterday has caused problems for organisations like MyDeposits who have been briefing their clients about the Electrical Safety Standards, and when they should be ready to comply. It’s good to hear that MHCLG is going to revisit their update.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Earlier this week. I got a Certification done to one of my flat. Wish I have known it earlier, i would have saved £100.

  2. MHCLG are such a bunch of incompetent civil servants. It was clear in the first place, then an update throws everyone into utter confusion, so they backtrack!

    The NRLA should be all over this from the beginning to stop it happening in the first place.

  3. Another thing to be concerned about with electrics and the new regulations is this phrase: “Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’” which words can be found in section 2 of https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector.

    Why should this be a concern? Well the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regs only came in in 2019 and properties built prior to that date almost certainly won’t comply with these regs. Moreover, it will be non-trivial and possibly quite invasive (e.g. digging into walls to locate cables) to update installations to comply with the 18th Edition.

    If the government really means that a landlord’s electrics have to comply with the 18th Edition, this could mean many (most) landlords will have to give notice and take their rentals off the market because they cannot prove compliance with the 18th Edition by April 2021.

    Clearly the government’s words were drafted by someone who is not knowledgeable about electrics – getting an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EIRC) for a property is one thing (and a good thing, by the way), but having to comply with the 18th Edition is plain idiotic.

    Any views? I can see this being a source of grief for landlords.

    • If you read the whole publication and relevant trade guides the whole thing is one giant cluster XXXXX . The 18th edition makes it clear that just because wiring meets earlier regulations doesnt mean its unsafe , i.e metal consumer units a requirement in domestic property now, not so in earlier editions you could use plastic but under 18th edition you C3 them meaning its recomended improvement not a mandatory improvement so one part of the regs implies change them out , another says its ok to leave them in as long as they are not in a prescribed escape route . Whats even more confusing niceic napit and other advisory trade organisations advice and coding are at odds with each other.

  4. Licence to print money for the unscrupulous electricians who are automatically failing any installation over 5 years old, Installations that are perfectly safe but are 17th not 18th edition compliant . All this is going to do is land landlords with large bills to rewire properties , what happens when amendments come out or the 19th edition regs are we expected to rewire houses every few years . According to the new rules every time we have a new tenant or new contract we have to have the electrical systems re-inspected , that could be every six months That will add £45.00 per month to the rental costs .

    Every rewire entails replastering redecorating that could easily run into £5k which as a landlord i have to recoup so again rents will need to rise accordingly. The other option is install everything surface or in conduit . Im all for electrical safety but this is plain stupid

  5. I started to sell off my B2L business it’s just to much grief now
    Eisc is a nitemare
    Universal credit nitemare
    Council nitemare
    Getting rent nitemare
    Maintenance. Factors it goes on
    No profit nowadays

  6. I agree, the guidance and regulations are very badly written. The required testing is an EICR test. This is a test essentially for safety of the electrical installation. It is not a test that determines if the installation complies with the latest 18th  Edition of the Electrical Regs, despite what the guidance implies. As a previous poster mentioned, very few installations would meet the requirements of the latest Electrical Regs, and just because an installation does not meet these, it does not make it unsafe. Otherwise, every building would suddenly have “unsafe” electrical systems everytime they upgraded the electrical regulations.The other problem is that a lot of electricians incorrectly interpret the requirements also and may say that an item needs to be upgraded to meet the 18th Edition requirements, and if you’re not an electrical expert, how do you argue the point ? If you just accept their word then you could be in line to pay hundreds or thousands for new wiring, consumer units etc.The guidance and regulations need to be rewritten with help from someone that actually understands electrical testing and the electrical regulations.
    Good guidance here – https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/media/2149/bpg4-1.pdf

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