Electrical installations are subject to wear and tear and if they are not checked on a regular basis, they can become dangerous...
● What is an EICR?
● What were the rules prior to 2020?
● The importance of conducting an EICR Test.
● The new rules landlords need to know in 2023.
● How much will the EICR cost?
● Why have electrical regulations been introduced?
● What are the responsibilities of the landlord?
Electrical installations are subject to wear and tear and if they are not checked on a regular basis, they can become dangerous. Wiring that is inadequately insulated or faulty can cause electrical fires.
An EICR report, also known as a periodic inspection report, is a thorough inspection of the electrical installation system at your property to ensure electrical safety.
Prior to April 2020, electrical inspections were only a legal obligation for HMOs (house in multiple occupation). For all other tenancies, carrying out an EICR was a recommendation, but it was not a legal obligation.
This changed when the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 April 2020.
As a landlord, it is important to conduct regular check-ups on the condition of your property’s electrical wiring for the safety of your tenants.
The IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671 recommend that business owners and landlords should conduct an EICR test once every five years. Any serious faults must be repaired immediately for the safety of existing tenants, or before the property is let out to new tenants.
The rules and legal obligations pertaining to the frequency of electrical safety checks changed in 2020 and it is important for new and existing landlords to understand the new electrical rules in order to keep tenants safe and to avoid penalties.
From April 2021, all rented property in England has to have a valid EICR certificate. A copy of this must be handed to each tenant before they move in, or within 28 days of the inspection to existing tenants.
The EICR test must be carried out by a qualified electrician who must perform electrical safety checks and any remedial work required, in line with the new rules. If the landlords do not comply, they risk a fine of up to £30,000.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, outlines the new electrical safety regulations and the checks that have to be carried out by the landlord to comply with electrical safety standards announced by the government.
The electrician will inspect and assess the electrics of the whole property and will be looking for electrical deterioration and potentially dangerous areas that could result in shocks or electrical fires.
The electrician will begin by conducting a visual assessment.
The electrical installation is then disconnected from the power supply. Electrical circuits will undergo testing to assess whether there are poorly connected wires. The preliminary test is referred to as ‘dead testing’, which is a test performed with the power switched off. This is done to prevent hazardous risks to the environment and to the electrician doing the testing.
There will also be live electrical testing. This involves a test carried out to check if there is a fault in the system. The usability and safety of electric appliances will be checked to identify defective wiring, earth leakages, and instances of socket overloading.
The quality of the earthing and bonding will be checked to see if it is sufficient and whether the earth protection is adequate. Switches, sockets, fuse boxes, power outlets, light fittings, and any sockets installed on the property will be checked.
When the electrician has completed the check, the EICR report is sent to the landlord.
The report includes whether the property is safe or unsatisfactory. Remedial action will be listed and this must be carried out prior to tenants moving in.
The new regulations do not apply to electrical appliances, only to the fixed electrical installations.
The cost of conducting an EICR depends on the size of the property and the complexity of the electrics and the wiring. The rate may also depend on the experience and qualifications of the electrician, and each will have their own hourly rate.
Average cost includes:
The cost of the safety check does not include reparations done on the day — any remedial work should be quoted for and invoiced separately.
The new regulations ensure that landlords are clear about their responsibilities and that they are aware of the serious penalties they face if the rules are breached, and the tenant’s safety is put at risk.
The new electrical compliance regulations give the landlord peace of mind knowing that the property being rented out meets the regulations.
Additionally, a valid Electric Installation Compliance Report prevents delays or legal issues when it comes to renting or selling the property.
In The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, it states, “Electricity: landlords must provide and maintain safe electrical installations, including wiring, switches, circuit boards, light fittings and plug sockets, and have inspections carried out every five years.”
Landlords must ensure their tenants’ safety at all times which means that landlords have to have the electrics on the properties they own and let examined throughout the tenancy. Legislation dealing with electrical safety provides the rules in this regard.
You can view the legislation and penalties for non-compliance on the government’s website.
Landlords are required to:
Landlords must share the EICR report with existing tenants within 28 days and with any new tenants before they move in. The local authority must also have the report within 7 days.
Failure to keep up with electrical safety testing can result in a fine of up to £30,000.
Using the EVO service and compliance add-on ensures that all EICR tests are diarised and conducted as and when needed. Providing full peace of mind, EVO gives landlords confidence that their properties are safe and compliant.
PHOTO BY Illustrations @ EVO
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