Keeping your properties safe is a key requirement of all landlords, and ensuring that the electrics are up to date and in good condition is an integral element of performing that duty.
To ensure that the electrics are safe, you need to make sure that all the appropriate checks are done, at the appropriate intervals. In the following article, we take a look at a common requirement for a lot of rental properties, the EICR certificate, full of useful information for landlords!
An EICR (electrical installation condition report) is a report used to find potential dangers associated with the electrics of a property, and give recommendations for potential action to be taken. It is not the only report that landlords can opt to have carried out in order to be compliant, but it is one of the most common. Inspectors can rank electrics using four different codes, as defined in the gov.uk site:
- Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. The electrical inspector may make any C1 hazards safe before leaving the property.
- Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
- Further investigations (FI): Further investigation required without delay.
- Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Further remedial work is not required for the report to be deemed satisfactory.
In the case of C1 and C2, work must be done before the property can be deemed safe. If further investigation (FI) is required, that must also be organised by the landlord, with potential remediation required based on the findings of that investigation.
A C3 finding indicates that while alterations are recommended, they aren’t required.
If further work is required, it needs to be carried out within 28 days, potentially less if specified in the report. If the work isn’t carried out, landlords can face fines of up to £30,000!
How much does it cost?
The exact cost of the eicr certificate will depend on a number of factors, including location, the size of the property, and how old the property is. Generally, it will cost around £150, with prices starting at £100 and going up to £300.
When should an EICR be carried out?
Landlords are required to have an EICR conducted every 5 years, whenever there is a change of tenant, and whenever a new property is bought with the intention to let it out. As a landlord, it’s also your duty to keep a copy of the report. If a tenant requests a copy, it must be supplied within 28 days, and if the local authority requests a copy, it must be supplied within 7 days.
What will be inspected?
The EICR is only for fixed electrical installations, and does not cover appliances like microwaves, televisions, and fridges. Although not covered under the EICR, it is recommended that landlords get their appliances tested regularly. Tenants are responsible for their own appliances, and for ensuring that they’re in a safe condition. Further information on portable appliance testing (PAT) is available on the Electrical Safety First website.
Fixed electrical installations include things like general wiring, plug sockets, and light fittings. Other items could include shower extractors, fixed fans and similar permanently connected equipment!