Among all other regulations, landlords must comply electrical safety standards as well. So in this blog we will discuss everything a landlord should be aware of when compared to electrical safety regulations for rental properties.
What do you mean by EICR?
EICR means Electrical Installation Condition Report and this is an electrical installation inspection conducted in rental properties. This was required previously by HMOs or Houses in Multiple Occupation only however, after April 2021 landlords of rental properties should possess a valid certificate.
What is an EICR certificate?
A valid EICR certificate will be issued if your rental property passes the electrical installation inspection. The objective of this report is to fix, highlight and prevent:
Electric fire hazards
Lack of earthing
Overloaded equipment or circuits
As a Landlord, is it a must to have a EICR?
In the modern days, it is necessary to have a valid EICR if you wish to rent out a property in UK as per the legislations.
Continuation of EICR Requirements
Who needs an EICR?
A valid EICR is needed:
When you rent an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) property
When you rent a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Who is eligible to conduct an EICR?
An EICR should be conducted by a competent and qualified electrician. You can always find for qualified electricians through the government website.
How does an EICR work?
An EICR will analyse the condition and the safety of the electrical installations in your rental property.
The inspection will look at:
Permanently connected equipment, such as electric showers
While carrying out the inspection, the conditions of each electrical installation will be rated by the electrician as 'Satisfactory' or 'Unsatisfactory' with a code:
C1 – danger present, risk of injury, immediate remedial action needed
C2 – potentially dangerous, urgent remedial action needed
F1 – further investigation required
C3 – improvement recommended
Sometimes a C3 code will appear as ‘unsatisfactory’, but may count as a ‘pass’ and does not mean it is unsafe.
Therefore, a valid EICR is provided for electrical installation inspections where only C3 codes are mentioned.
What about other electrical devices?
These regulations do not involve appliances that does not come under fixed electrical installations such as fridges, hobs, televisions, cookers. Although there is no legal requirement, landlords should conduct PAT or Portable Appliance Testing regularly on those electrical appliances supplied to the tenants. It is the tenant's responsibility if anything is brought and used in the property by the tenant.
What should I do with an EICR?
After an inspection you should:
Provide an EICR copy to the tenants within 28 days
Provide an EICR copy to the new tenants before their tenancy begins
Provide an EICR copy to the local housing authority within 7 days
Keep the original copy of the EICR and provide it to the electrician conducting the next inspection
How much does it cost for an EICR?
Generally, EICR cost depends on the property size and the amount of electrical installations that need inspection. Therefore, one bedroom property would cost about £125 while four to five bedroom property may cost about £300.
How long does an EICR last?
This would last around 5 years and afterwards as mentioned before the inspection should be carried out by a competent and qualified electrician.
What happens if the EICR fails?
If the electrical installations are graded with C1, C2 or F1 or unsatisfactory in your rental property then the electrician must outline the required work that needs to be done to bring it to the safe level. This should be done within 28 days. Afterwards, the written confirmation should be taken from the inspector regarding the remedial work in which the safe standards are met. Also, a copy of this confirmation should be provided with 28 days to the tenants as well as the local authority.
Punishments for not conducting EICR
Punishments are severe if you fail to comply with these rules. The local authorities can charge fines up to about £30,000 in case of any breach of the safety regulations and even issue remedial notices that work should be completed within 28 days. If it is ignored, the local authority may arrange the work and recover the costs from the landlord.
Do newly built properties need an EICR?
The newly built properties should conduct an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). This can be provided to the local authority as well as the tenants when requested and no checks to be done until 5 years from that date of the EIC.