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New law for landlords in Scotland set to benefit contractors

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NICEIC registered contractors in Scotland are recognised as satisfying statutory guidance in a new law which will see landlords obliged to carry out electrical safety inspections on privately rented properties at least every five years.

The new legislation comes into effect from 1 December 2015 and is designed to reduce the number of domestic fires caused by electrical faults. The official guidance surrounding the ruling and what it means for landlords in Scotland was officially launched today (February 19) by Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess.

From December anyone carrying out an electrical safety inspection on behalf of a landlord must be employed by a firm that is registered with NICEIC or a member firm of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (Select).

Emma Clancy, CEO at NICEIC, commented: “The private rented sector in Scotland has grown significantly in the last decade yet many of the homes available in the sector fail to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

“This is an important piece of legislation that will ensure electrical standards are driven up within the sector. Landlords will now have a responsibility to ensure that installations for the supply of electricity, electrical fixtures and fittings and appliances are all up to a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. They will also have to ensure that that any inspections are carried out by a registered competent person.”

All inspections must be carried out before a tenancy starts and at intervals of no more than five years. It is not a requirement to carry out a new inspection every time a new tenancy starts as long as an inspection has taken place in the previous five years.

Any element of the inspection that is classified as an immediate danger will need to be rectified to the required repairing standard. An electrical safety certificate must also be provided and a copy provided to any new tenant.

In addition to making sure the installation, supply and fittings are safe the inspection must also include a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) to assess the safety of any appliances provided by the landlord. Any appliance that fails the test must be removed, replaced or repaired.

“NICEIC has regularly campaigned for tougher laws surrounding electrical safety in the home and we are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government on this significant step forward,” added Clancy.

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