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Electrical Installations

Tuesday, 27th October, 2015

One part of the Repairing Standard is that a house should have satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire. 

To meet the Repairing Standard landlords should either, install smoke and fire detectors that meet the standard set by building regulations, or be able to justify why a lesser level of protection is appropriate in a particular home. 

The revised technical guidance states that there must be:
  • One functioning smoke alarm in the room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes
  • One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings
  • One heat alarm in every kitchen
  • All alarms should be hard-wired and interlinked.
Houses in Multiple Occupation - that is, rentals that involve three or more unrelated households - are required to meet a more stringent standard, and more information on this is available on request.

As noted, private landlords in Scotland are required by law to ensure that a rented house meets the repairing standard at the start and throughout a tenancy. To meet the Repairing Standard landlords must ensure that the following is an a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order:
  • The installations in the house for the supply of electricity
  • Electrical fixtures and fittings
  • Any appliances provided by the landlord under the tenancy
"Reasonable state of repair" is not defined in the legislation, but broadly it means that the condition of the equipment is what a reasonable person would expect, taking the particular circumstances into account. Equipment that is not safe for use would not be in a reasonable state of repair.

From 01 December 2015, landlords must also ensure that en electrical safety inspection has been carried out prior to new tenancies commencing.

Inspections must be carried out within the tenancy at 5 yearly intervals. Inspections need to be carried out immediately at the start of every tenancy, providing a safety inspection has been carried out within the 5 previous years.

Landlords are required to ensure that regular electrical safety inspections are carried out by a competent person, as set out in the Scottish Government's guidelines. These inspections have two component parts, namely:
  • an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on the safety of the electrical installations, fixtures and fittings, and
  • a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) on portable appliances
The EICR takes into account all electrical installations within the property as well as in the component parts for which landlords have a responsibility. Any electrical installation, fixtures or fittings or equipment which fails to pass an electrical safety inspection must be replaced or repaired immediately to comply with the repairing standard.

Any tenant under an existing tenancy at 30 November 2015 must be provided by with a copy of an EICR by 1 December 2016 unless their tenancy ends before that date.


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