The law is constantly evolving in the world of electrical installations as the authorities continue to drive the highest level of safety standards. As a leading provider of electrical installations in the West Midlands, we’re constantly monitoring these changes and putting them into practice for the benefit of our customers. This year, new regulations were introduced regarding Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) for rented properties. They have been designed to improve the level of safety for occupants and, as a landlord, it is critical that you’re aware of the new measures.
What are the changes?
As of 1st June 2020, landlords in England are now required by law to have electrical installations within their rental properties checked and certified by a qualified electrician. This is to ensure they are safe in accordance with industry standards. Upon completion and passing of the checks, an EICR is issued certifying the installation, providing a validity period of upto five years.
The rules apply to any new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. According to UK government guidance, the relevant date for determining when the new requirements apply to your property is the date on which the tenancy was granted. A new tenancy is deemed to be one granted on or after 1st June 2020.
What rental properties need an EICR?
In short, the majority of privately rented properties, bar a number of exclusions presented in Schedule One of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. These “include social housing, lodgers, those on a long lease of 7 years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions”.
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is also now covered by the new Electrical Safety Regulations so an EICR is required to ensure all electrical installations are compliant.
So what actually is an EICR?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is carried out by a qualified electrician to ensure electrical installations are safe for continued use and are not vulnerable to electrical shocks or fires. They’re also able to recommend remedial work if required, which the landlord is obliged to carry out in order to ensure the property is compliant.
If an electrical installation does not meet the required standards, the inspector will issue the report with the following classification codes instructing the landlord to undertake corrective action. According to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), the classification codes are:
- Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. This will require immediate remedial action.
- Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous.
Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay.
- Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Further remedial work is not required for the report to be deemed satisfactory.
Providing the property has passed all testing and the necessary criteria, an EICR report will be issued with a validity lasting upto five years. From then on, a new inspection must be completed every five years thereafter.
Furthermore, the landlord will also be required to provide a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report to both new and existing tenants.
What will be inspected and tested?
During the inspection, all fixed electrical parts of the property – such as the wiring, socket-outlets and light fittings – will be inspected for any potentially dangerous defects. The qualified electrician will also inspect the consumer unit and any permanent connected equipment such as showers and extractors. All works should be completed according to standards clearly set out in the 18th Edition of Wiring Regulations.
The importance of EICR checks
Beyond being a legal obligation, it’s critically important that as a landlord, you ensure your properties remain compliant with the regulations. Therefore it’s essential an EICR is performed, kept up to date and made available for both new and existing tenants. Why? Not only is this a case of people’s safety, but you can also face severe sanctions if you’re found in breach of the regulations.
Landlords have 28 days to action remedial work from the point an EICR is issued and, if the local authority comes to the conclusion that you’ve breached your duties, you can be liable to a fine of up to £30,000. We’re sure you’ll agree, that is a huge amount of money.
That’s why here at Heath Electrical Specialists, we’ve developed a reputation as one of the most respected providers of EICR checks in the West Midlands, helping our customers remain fully compliant. Unlike some electrical companies who offer “rapid” EICR testing, we actually conduct thorough checks and ensure all electrical safety issues are rectified immediately. It’s no use taking shortcuts when the safety of residents is paramount, therefore we’re committed to providing quality, professional electrical works for all of our clients.
The safety of our customers and their property is critically important, therefore we always act with integrity, ensuring our clients receive work to the very highest standards. Ultimately, customers are paying for a professional service that can give them peace of mind moving forward. That is what we deliver. It is also why we’ve developed a large portfolio of landlords and letting agents across the West Midlands who exclusively use Heath Electrical Specialists, comfortable in the knowledge that we’ll provide them with an industry-leading service. All of our records are stored digitally on secure servers so that should one of our clients lose their copy of their EICR report, we can easily send them a duplicate. We’re always here to support.
If you’re looking for an Electrical Installation Condition Report service within the West Midlands and Worcestershire, contact us today to book your appointment.