Making sure all of a property’s electrical systems are in safe operating condition requires the use of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

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Local governments will have the authority to punish landlords who do not follow electrical safety regulations starting in 2020.

In an attempt to facilitate the implementation of these regulations, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Sector (England) Regulations 2020 act was implemented nationwide, granting councils the authority to seek reports subsequent to property inspections.

These reports provide authorities with information about the state of the electrical system, among other things, enabling them to determine whether or not landlords are complying.

One such landlord violated the rules on April 11 of this year, making them the first to receive a punishment under the new policy.

In a recent instance, Coventry City Council fined the landlord £1,600 for failing to provide an EICR certificate within the allotted period.

The regulations provide that the council must receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) within seven days. To prove that the electrical installation was safe in this instance, the EICR was supposed to be finished by a licensed electrician by April 1st.

A copy therefore ought to have been given to the renter in accordance with this requirement. But neither materialized.

“We believe this is the first time these powers have been used by a Local Authority in England,” stated Adrian Chowns, Manager of Property Licensing and Housing Enforcement for Coventry Council. It demonstrates how Coventry City Council is enforcing the law and cracking down on unscrupulous landlords in the city in a proactive manner.

Electrical Installation Condition Reports are well recognized in the industry for their ability to facilitate adherence to electrical safety regulations, and are considered standard procedure. However, those who are unfamiliar with the sector, particularly first-time landlords, occasionally fail to pay attention to the EICR’s laws and regulations.

What is an EICR?

An electrical installation’s testing and inspection to ascertain its safety for occupants, building owners, and renters is the process behind an Electrical Installation Condition Report. An EICR assists in identifying the following, among other things:

The installation’s integrity

damage to fixtures such switches and plugs

confirming that the property conforms with all applicable laws

In general, an electrical installation condition report, or EICR for short, is a report that is often called a periodic inspection check. The report may be used to evaluate risk and establish safety. Its contents are essential for recognizing and resolving concerns that have been identified and for creating safety protocols that reduce risk and hazard, particularly before corrective action is taken.

In the case of rentals, the landlord faces a punishment of up to £30,000 if an EICR finds that the rental property does not comply with the rules and strict safety requirements.

An EICR Certificate is not legally required if you own a house, however if the property is privately held, an electrical inspection should be done at least once every 10 years.

Who is qualified to carry out an electrical inspection?

Every five years, landlords are required by the regulations to have their property examined and tested by a “qualified and competent” individual. To facilitate the process, the Government has created comprehensive guidelines that specify how landlords may locate an electrical safety specialist who has the necessary qualifications.

Landlords might find it simpler to discover a qualified expert by using search engines such as the competent person system, which allows electrical safety inspectors and testers to register. Although it’s not required, some inspectors and testers sign up for this program in order to get more exposure.

Landlords may make sure the applicant is appropriate by asking the following questions before ordering an inspection:

Does the inspector belong to a program for qualified people?

What background do they have?

Do they own sufficient insurance?

What credentials do they possess?

Are such requirements current with the regulations?

If the results of the first EICR are not satisfactory, do I need to have another one done?

It will not be necessary to have another EICR if this one is not suitable. Rather, you must ensure that any necessary work is completed, and if further research is needed, it must be done within 28 days, unless the report specifies a different timeline. To prove that any further work has been finished, you will also want written proof from every electrical specialist who does it.

When renting to new tenants, do landlords need to acquire a new EICR?

An EICR is valid for five years for landlords. There are several reasons why this may be shorter if the electrical inspector determined that it was required. You will need to obtain a fresh certificate every five years, which landlords may use to show renters that the property is electrically safe. In general, an EICR remains valid even in the event of a tenancy change.

What is the price of an EICR?

The cost of an Electrical Installation Condition Report varies based on the size and number of rooms in the house. The quantity of permanent electrical installations that require testing as well as the certified electrician’s hourly charge may also have a role.

An EICR for a rental property with one bedroom would often run you about £125, but it may run you over £300 for a five-bedroom home. An EICR typically costs little more than £200.

These are approximate costs, and prices vary based on a wide range of circumstances, so it is best to compare estimates before hiring a certified tradesperson.

The cost of an electrical system condition report, as offered by Safe2, starts at £125 + VAT. An auto-renew feature lets the owner, property manager, or landlord know when the next safety certificate is needed.