Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

Wondering what the new electrical safety standards will mean for landlords in England? We take a look at how it will impact the rental sector.

New electrical safety standards

New electrical safety standards in England came into force on 1st June 2020. We take a look at what this means for private landlords.

  • Landlords with private rental properties in England must legally provide a copy of the Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) to the tenant within 28 days of the inspection (or before the tenancy begins for new tenants)
  • This regulation applies to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and existing tenancies from April 2021
  • Landlords must supply a copy to the local authority within 7 days (if requested)
  • Any faults highlighted by the electrical inspection must be remedied within 28 days (or sooner if detailed within the electrical report)
  • Written confirmation must be obtained to confirm that any necessary repairs have been completed
  • EICRs must be carried out at least every 5 years or sooner
  • Property must have a working smoke alarm on each habitable floor
  • Any electrical appliances (fridges, washing machines or similar) supplied must be visually checked and in good working order (Portable appliance testing should usually be more frequent than five years)
  • Any electrical appliances (fridges, washing machines or similar) supplied must be visually checked and in good working order (Portable appliance testing should usually be more frequent than five years)
  • Any electrical installation (fixed wiring, sockets, lights) must be checked by qualified electrician and be safe and in good working order

Non-compliance with the new regulations will mean local authorities could impose a fine of up to £30,000.

For more on electrical safety see our electrical safety article.

Detailed overview

Under the Landlords and tenants Act 1985 landlords are responsible for ensuring that the electrical installation and any electrical appliances supplied are safe when a tenancy begins and maintained throughout the tenancy.

As of 1st June 2020, private landlords are now required to have an Electrical Safety Condition Report at least once every five years.

Under the new legislation a private landlord who grants or intends to grant a specified tenancy in England must:

  • Ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises occupied under a specified tenancy
  • Ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person, this includes electrical appliances landlords provide (Portable Appliance Testing)
  • Supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test
  • Any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises

And continued at regular intervals

  • At intervals of no more than 5 years
  • Where the most recent report requires such inspection and testing to be at intervals of less than 5 years, at the intervals specified in that report
  • Portable Appliance Test (PAT) testing is usually set during the test and will usually be more frequent than five years

When does this become legal?

New regulations came into force on 1st June 2020. Landlords must ensure the first inspection and testing is carried out:

  • Before the tenancy commences in relation to a new specified tenancy on or after 1st July 2020
  • By 1st April 2021 in relation to an existing specified tenancy, failure to comply could result in fines of up to £30k in fines, insurance invalidation and banning orders for repeated or serious offences

Why is this happening?

Most landlords are already committed to carrying out electrical inspections each year, however there is evidence to suggest tenants in the private rented sector face a higher risk of electrical shock and fires caused by electrical faults in their homes compared to social housing tenants.

To address this the government carried out an industry wide consultation process on electrical safety in the private rented sector with the output being tougher safety measures to better protect private tenants by reducing the risk of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults.

In practice, it is the remedial work that landlords carry out in response to the five yearly checks that will deliver the benefits to the private rented sector. These benefits will be in the form of reduced numbers of fires, injuries and fatalities associated with unsafe electrical installations in the private rented sector.

Who will be affected?

Private rental properties in England. EICRs are already legally required in Scotland and for other types of rental property such as HMOs, social housing. For other types of rental properties landlords should see individual codes and regulations.

I privately rent properties in Wales – what are my obligations?

If you rent a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) you are required to have an EICR performed at least once every 5 years.

Whilst not mandatory it is recommended that a check on the electrical installation should be carried out at least once every five years by a competent electrician, and the results should be recorded in the form of an EICR.

Landlords are required to ensure that electrical wiring be in a safe, working condition. All electrical fixtures and fittings must be free from breakages, cracking or defects, and be properly and securely fitted.

Getting compliant – what to look for and how do I find a qualified electrical engineer

Carrying out an inspection of electrical installations is a complex task that requires an extra level of qualification and competence achieved beyond the standard 4-year vocational route commonly followed by qualified inspectors and testers.

Electrical Safety First recommend the following government approved electrical bodies.

England & Wales
NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT, BLUEflame Certification

Scotland
SELECT, NICEIC

What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report

In general, there are two types of domestic electrical installation condition reports:

1. Visual Inspection Report (VIR or Visual Condition Report) – is a basic check to identify any signs of damage, defects and observations which includes recommendations.

This does not include circuit testing and is only suitable if the installation has been tested recently.

2. EICR - this is what is also called a periodic inspection and includes visual checks as well as testing of electrical installation, which would identify any hidden damage.

This includes an EICR on the safety of the electrical installations, including a visual inspection of fixtures and fittings, plus a fixed electrical equipment test, and a PAT on portable appliances.

What an EICR provides and what does it tell me?

An EICR provides landlords with a summary of the condition of the electrics in the rental property and recommend any observations or remedial action required in order to ensure that the electrical installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service, compliant with the current British Standard for electrical safety (BS 7671).

Generally, an EICR will provide coding against any electrical installation, fixtures, fittings or equipment which fails to pass electrical safety inspection. The codes are categorised into 3 types – C1, C2 & C3.

Code C1 (danger present) or C2 (potentially dangerous) must be rectified to meet electrical safety standards. Code C1 means that anyone using the installation is at risk and remedial work should be carried out immediately.

C3 indicates an observed findings which whilst not immediately dangerous would be a beneficial improvement to the safety of the electrical installation.

Any element of the electrical installation classified in an FI (further investigation required) should be investigated as soon as practically possible as such investigation may reveal a dangerous or potentially dangerous condition.

Any work which is undertaken must be recorded separately. This can be done by recording the work completed on a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate and providing a copy of that to the person ordering the work, which is recommended for all actions to remedy a defect.

What happens if the report finds additional C1/C2 remedial work is needed?

If the electrical safety report finds any faults or potential faults, then it is the landlords responsibility to either investigate further or repair any faults. The landlord must ensure further investigations or repairs are completed within 28 days of the inspection, or within the timeframe set out in the report if this is shorter by a qualified person.

Once the repairs have been carried out landlords will need written evidence that the electrical safety standards have now been met and the property is electrically compliant. This confirmation must be supplied to each existing tenant along with the original report identifying further work is required.

The local authority may request a copy of the report & evidence of work completed at any time.

What happens if I don’t have an EICR or get the repairs fixed?

Non-compliance with the new regulations will mean the local authority will supply the landlord with an 'enforcement notice'. If a landlord fails to act upon this, the local authority can enforce it by having the repairs completed (and billing the landlord) or even impose a fine of up to £30,000.

Get an EICR report from £150

We're here to help keep your property safe for you and your tenants.

Book an EICR with one of our qualified engineers and we'll provide:

  • A safety inspection, which covers all accessible mains connected wiring and fixtures in the fuse box
  • A condition report, with details of the inspection and any work which needs to be carried out

Call 0330 127 5630 to book1

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