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Electrical Testing

Tuesday, 19th May, 2015

The Scottish Government has finalised its guidance on mandatory electrical testing for the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.

Although the term used by the government is "guidance", please note that this is a statutory regulation which will come into force from 01 December 2015. All Scottish privately rented property covered by the Repairing Standard will be required to comply, regardless of tenancy type.

Under the new requirement, landlords will have to have fixed wiring Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) checks carried out over at least every five years. This will apply from December for any new tenancies entered into on or after this date, including current tenants signing a new lease. For existing tenancies, this will come into force in December 2016.

The EICR must include an appliance check report (a portable appliance test or PAT) on all appliances provided by the landlord, but not those belonging to the tenant.

EICRs and PATs carried out from December must be documented on the forms specified on the guidance in order to be acceptable under the regulations. In addition, all appliances checked must have test labels placed on them.

Enforcement of electrical testing requirements is the responsibility of the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) who can issue a Repairing Standard Enforcement Order and ultimately a rent penalty for non-compliance, which is a criminal offence.

The key points include:

- PAT check to be carried out at a different time to the EICR check, provided both are carried out at least every five years
- Landlords are required to take only reasonable steps to ensure that electrical items in common areas such as stairwells or electrical gates on an underground car park are safe. PAT checks are required on appliances in common areas in shared properties such as HMO kitchens or hallways.
- EICR checks carried out on or after 1st of January 2012 by a competent electrician are acceptable, even if they do not include an appliance check.
- A clear check list must be completed by an electrician to demonstrate competence in cases where they are not a member of SELECT or NICEIC.
-New build/newly rewired properties to meet the standard provided an in-date electrical installation certificate is in place.

All landlords are advised to read the guidance in full to familiarise themselves with the detail of the requirements.

This can be found on the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) website: http://www.prhpscotland.gov.uk/prhp/137.26.33.html


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