Landlord Advice

Electrical Safety Inspections for Landlords: New Electrical Regulations

As of 2020, there are new Electrical Regulations for landlords. A big part of these regulations requires landlords to acquire an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) provided by a qualified technician every five years. Previously, this certificate was required for houses in multiple occupation (HMO), but now it’s necessary to have it for all types of rental properties. The requirement applies both to newly rented-out properties, and for any property, you may already own and have lent to tenants.

So if you:

  • Are new to the rental property business;
  • Have been already in the business for some time, but want to keep up to date with all legal obligations;
  • Want to know what EICR is, and how long it lasts.

Then, keep on reading and we will explain more in this article.

What is a landlord electrical safety certificate?

Let’s get in-depth with what a landlord electrical safety certificate is. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force in July 2020. As we’ve already mentioned, an EICR is required for any type of rental property. 

The way you acquire this certificate is to hire a professional – a certified technician, who needs to come to your property and perform an inspection of the electrical installation. After the inspection is done, you will receive a detailed report on the findings. If there are any electric hazards found during the inspection, you must fix them before renting out your property. 

A landlord must provide a copy of this report to the tenants no more than 28 days after the inspection. 

If local authorities require the report, you should provide them with it no later than seven days. If your electrical installation requires any fixes, the legal amount of time to notify your local housing authority about the repairs is also 28 days.

Again, note that an EICR must be renewed every five years. 

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What does the electrical installation inspection involve?

An electrical installation inspection checks if the wiring, outlets, light fittings, fuse box, electric showers and extractor fans in your property are safe. The technician can eliminate any immediate hazards in the process. They will also do the following five things:

  • Record the results of the tests and inspection to make sure the installation is safe to be used;
  • Find and report any damage or wear that may lead to electrical hazards;
  • Check for anything that doesn’t meet the relevant regulations;
  • Check for risks of electric shock and fire hazards in the electrical installation;
  • Provide a detailed report at the time of inspection.

The electrician will not test any kitchen appliances or TVs unless you have requested a Portable Appliance Test to be performed, as well. This is not mandatory, but it is a good way to make sure your tenants are safe from electrical dangers. 

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How long do an electrical inspection and EICR take?

An electrical safety inspection usually takes three to four hours to be completed. But, of course, it all depends on the size of the property and the number of electric circuits that need to be checked. The technician will have to make sure everything is safe for everyday use and this takes time.

Another good idea related to time management is to perform this check in advance, so if there is anything that needs work, it can be done prior to letting in your new tenants.

Understanding the results of an EICR

If there is any work needed to be done on the electrical installation of your property after the inspection, it will be written with a corresponding code next to the results in the report. Here is what each code means:

  • FI – This code indicates that further investigation into the problem is needed.
  • C1 – This code means that the installation is found to be dangerous and needs to be repaired.
  • C2 – This code stands for a potentially dangerous installation that requires repair.
  • C3 – Improvements are recommended, but not required.

To put it simply – codes FI, C1 and C2 mean that you have to do immediate repairs to the electrical installation in your property. This should be done no later than 4 weeks. If you see code C3 next to anything in the report, it means the installation has passed the check, but you can do improvements that are not mandatory.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your insurance provider can reject a claim if you don’t provide an EICR and you will not be paid the compensation.

Need professional help?

Are you a landlord, looking for a certified electrician to check the electrical installation of your rental property and provide you with an EICR? Fantastic Services works with fully accredited and NICEIC-registered electrical engineers with years of experience in the field. Regardless of whether you are a business owner or a landlord, your property’s electrical safety is of top priority to us! Book your EICR service easily with our convenient online booking form and we will send a qualified technician on your way in no time. The certified electricians we work with can also make any improvements and repairs that need to be done to the electrical installation.

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Takeaways

  • As of 2020, an EICR is required for any type of rental property.
  • The electrical inspection will provide detailed information about the condition of the electrical installation in your property and any potential hazards.
  • The electrician will check the condition of wiring, wall sockets, light fittings, fuse boxes, etc.
  • An electrical inspection can take anywhere between 3 to 4 hours to complete.
  • You will find detailed information and recommended solutions to possible problems in your EICR

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments below!

Image source: shutterstock / Monika Wisniewska

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