Electrical and CO Legislation 1st Dec 2015

As previously mentioned, new legislation came into force on 1st December 2015 regarding electrical safety checks and carbon monoxide monitoring. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 requires landlords to comply with the Repairing Standard with regards to the following:

Electrical Safety

Landlords are required to provide tenants with:

• An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which assesses the condition of the electrical installations, fixtures and fittings.
• A Portable Appliance Test (PAT), which approves the safety of everything (provided by the landlord), that uses an electrical supply but that is not connected to the electrical installation.

These checks will be required every 5 years and must be carried out by a registered electrician. A copy of the EICR must be provided to both new and retained tenants. Landlords are required to ensure that anything that fails to pass the inspection is replaced or repaired immediately.

This came into force on 1st December 2015 for any new tenancies entered into on or after this date (this includes current tenants signing a new lease), and from 1 December 2016 for existing tenancies.

EICR checks carried out between 1st January 2012 and 30th November 2015 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.

The person who conducts the checks must be a member or be employed by a firm that is a member of an accredited registration scheme operated by a body recognised by the Scottish Government – this will usually mean that they are registered with NICEIC or a member firm of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT).

There may be an Electrical Installation Certificate rather than an EICR if:

• The property is a new build
• The property has been fully rewired.

If there is an Electrical Installation Certificate, this can be provided to demonstrate that your property complies with the new guidance, provided that the date of the next inspection indicated on the certificate has not elapsed.

Carbon Monoxide

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reports that there are approximately 50 deaths every year and over 1100 hospital admissions annually as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, colourless and odourless gas. A common source of CO in a property would be a faulty appliance such as a boiler. Research has shown that the chances of a CO incident in a privately rented property is significantly higher than in any other housing sector. The annual gas safety check does not guarantee protection from carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide detectors can be installed easily and are not costly.

Since October 2013 Scottish Building Regulations have stated that carbon monoxide detectors must be fitted when a new or replacement boiler is installed. From 1st December 2015 all properties are required to have provision for giving warning if carbon monoxide is present in a concentration that is hazardous to health. From this date landlords must have a long life battery or mains power detector in any space which contains a carbon based fuel appliance, eg – gas/oil boiler, gas/oil fire, wood burning stove, coal fire. There should also be one in any bedroom or living room which is bypassed by a flue.

Detectors must comply with either BS EN 50291-1:2010+A1:2012 or, if hard-wired or wireless installations, applicable European directives. There are rules on the positioning of CO detectors including that they should in most cases be 1-3 metres from the appliance, 30cm from any walls (if ceiling mounted) and 15cm below ceilings (if wall mounted). CO detectors have expiry dates
printed on them and must be replaced before that date is reached.

Qualified Gas Safe engineers can ensure that the right sort of CO detector is fitted in the right location to ensure compliance.

If The Key Place fully manages your property, we will deal with the electrical and CO requirements on your behalf.