Landlords must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report “EICR” when they are renting out the property to make sure the tenants are safe.
The certificate indicates that your electrical wiring meets the standards of safety compliance with The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.
In the eye of UK laws, the electrical installation condition report (EICR) reveals any potential safety risk in the property. The document will only be issued by a qualified electrician, inspector, or at least an approved contractor.
How does an inspection work?
As a landlord, it’s vital for you to remember that only a registered electrician can do the inspection.
To get your EICR, first, the electrical inspector would go and inspect certain areas in the property. The inspection will involve checking fuse boxes, lighting, sockets, earthing, and bonding.
The inspection will reveal if there are any potential electrical risks and ensure that your installation meets the tenants’ safety standards.
Moreover, a qualified inspector is obliged to look for any potential damages and to detect overloaded signs.
What would an inspector check in your property?
- Potential electric shocks
- Check if your electrical equipment and wiring meets the safety regulation
- Ensure the suitability and serviceability of your electrical installation
- Track any signs of earthing and bonding lacking
Who can issue a certificate?
In the UK, only a registered or qualified electrician can issue the electrical installation condition report (EICR). The issued document will show what the inspector found and observed.
The inspector must reveal in the report all the observed details and any potential electrical danger in the property.
In case he found that the property does not meet the tenants’ safety requirements. Landlords are required to take immediate action to eliminate the danger.
The report will show that your electrical installations are either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
C3: This means that the EICR certificate is satisfactory but some recommendations are made by the inspector.
C1: This means that the EICR is unsatisfactory, and you are required to take action within 28 days.
C2: Your EICR is unsatisfactory, you are obliged to take immediate action.
F1: Further investigation is required but the report is satisfactory.
Do landlords need an Electrical Certificate?
Since April the 1st 2021, the UK has issued new testing requirements for landlords. They must have an Electrical Certificate at least every 5 years.
The new electrical testing requirement also says that landlords are obliged to show a copy of the EICR when a new tenant moves in.
Landlords must have the EICR to improve the safety condition of their tenants.
Which parts of the house are included?
Homeowners and landlords should set a perfect and safe workspace before the inspector comes. It helps build a level of trust between the two and makes the electrician’s work much more comfortable.
A safe workplace helps with the process of inspecting different places in the house, which include:
Walls: To check that the electrical boxes and wiring cables meet the EICR legal equipment.
Outdoors location and near water sources: Typically, that’s where inspectors go to do the GFCI and AFCI circuit protection inspection. A qualified inspector will ensure that the GFCI and circuit breakers meet the safety standards of the EICR requirement.
Lastly, they would look for any exposed wiring and Non-IP Rated lights in zone 0 areas like your bathrooms. Non-IP rated lights must be changed with IP rated lights.
What about new builds and new installations?
New buildings are not an exception to the new testing requirements for landlords. In fact, they must comply with the regulation and get a satisfactory electrical installation certificate.
They are required to provide a copy of the document for the tenants.
How much is an EICR?
There is no fixed price on having an EICR, because the price may change depending on many factors. For example, the size of the property or the number of circuit breakers.
If you have an additional consumer unit in the property that might double the cost for an EICR.
Another factor to consider before hiring a qualified inspector is the agency’s initial prices, some electricians charge more.
Your region is also a factor that could lower or increase the cost of EICR. For example, if you live in the north of the UK, the cost of having an electrical inspection is less than for someone who lives in south London.
Although it is not a fixed price, the medium EICR price starts at £98.99.
What happens if you don’t comply?
The housing authorities in the UK made it clear that complying with the new regulation regarding the EICRs is mandatory for landlords.
If a landlord chooses to not comply on purpose, there would be some serious penalties and consequences from the authorities.
For example, if a landlord by any means tries to breach the EICR, the authorities will take immediate action.
Landlords who don’t comply with the EICRs will have to face financial penalties of up to £30,000.
8 Key electrical Tips that every landlords should know about
- As a landlord make sure you are all aware of the electrical inspection requirement and the new EICR regulation.
- Always hire a registered and qualified electrician for electrical inspection and avoid doing the inspection yourself.
- As a landlord, the tenant’s safety is a priority. Therefore it is best to provide full access to the fuse boxes in case of unexpected events and electrical tripping.
- Speaking about fuse boxes, it’s important for the landlord to have an RCD protected consumer unit. Residual current devices work effectively against electrical shocks and prevent fire hazards.
- Don’t install new electrical items or devices before testing them.
- Make sure your wiring cables are away from traffic areas such as halls or doorways. Also, make sure the cables are hidden or away from furniture places.
- Make sure that your wiring and electrical installation including new supplies are up to date.
- Finally make sure to have a satisfactory EICR document, it tells that your property is well equipped and safe for new tenants.