Are the homes that your employees are renting in the UK electrically safe?

Author: Ann Dinsdale, GMS
Senior Vice President – Client Services

Should responsible businesses engaged in relocating employees to the UK take steps to check that their rented homes are electrically safe?

Of course, this is a question that applies regardless of where you’re sending them; but finally the law has been beefed-up in the UK to make it easier to check.

Up till now, the law has focused on gas safety, but electrical fires are a particular risk too.

New regulations came into force on 1 June 2020.  At first, they only applied to new leases, but from 1 April 2021 they have applied to all types of residential occupation.  This is a long overdue step which we welcome as a relocation firm that specializes in helping businesses move their talent globally.

Landlords must now have their properties inspected every 5 years by a qualified electrician.  The inspection covers fixed electrical parts of the property including wiring, plug sockets, light fittings and fuse boxes, for example.  A certificate must be provided to the renter within 28 days of the inspection.  If the inspection finds any issue, remedial works must be completed within 28 days, and written confirmation of completion of the works must be provided to the renter.

There are serious penalties; if the landlord breaches the electrical safety regulations, they can be fined up to £30,000.

If you do not have an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) you need to immediately contact your landlord or managing agent explaining that in accordance with the new law which came in on 1 April 2021 the landlord must provide this certificate.

If your landlord refuses, you will need to report this breach to the local authority.  The local authority will initially issue a remedial notice to your landlord who will then have 21 days to make written representations before the local authority proceed with the appropriate remedial action.

Any rental homes that come under our Ongoing Support program, Saunders 1865 will monitor the gas and electricity certificates on behalf of the employer/renter as part of our due diligence processes.

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My husband and I had a wonderful experience working with Saunders 1865. The team were always available to help us correspond with our landlord management company. They were great at following up in a timely manner and organized many repairs for us. We'd recommend anyone moving to London to use their services as they made the transition very easy.

Ashleigh Ellman - New York to London