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What Scottish landlords need to know about mandatory electricity checks

You may have seen that this month it was announced by the Scottish Government that all privately rented property in Scotland will have to adhere to a new mandatory electricity check regime.

If this is news to you – don’t worry, we’re getting this in early. The government has stated that it will apply to new tenancies from December 1 this year and will not be required for existing tenancies until December 1 2016.

The headline piece of information is that landlords will need to carry out fixed wiring checks in the form of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every five years.

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The checks must also incorporate a Portable Appliance Test, known in the industry as a PAT, on any appliances owned and provided by the landlord. What this means is that everything electrical in the property – unless it is owned by the tenant – should be either on an EICR or PAT report.

From the December start date, once these tests have been carried out, the landlord or letting property agent must document proof in a form which will be supplied by the government. Labels must also be placed on everything that has been tested – this will be familiar practice to landlords who have carried out ‘PATs’ in the past.

What if you don’t comply? Well, the checks will be enforced and policed by the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) which could issue a hefty fine for non-compliance.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) says that if advised by an electrician, landlords should consider carrying out the checks more frequently than every five years. What’s more, the Association says that any electricians consulted should be a member of NICEIC or SELECT.

So, you may not need to worry yet but it is certainly something to think about and something that will have an impact on your properties to let and tenants in the near future.

The full guidance can be viewed here.

For further information or advice, Letting Solutions would be delighted to help. You can contact us on: 0845 520 1420. Furthermore, you can value your rental property using our online free property valuation tool.