The keys facts and your questions asked
If you are a property owner then the chances are that you have been told, or read, about recent changes in regulations surrounding Electrical Installation Condition Reports. If you need to learn more about how this could potentially affect you then have a read of our quick and simple EICR Report guide!
So, what actually is an EICR?
The Electrical Installation Condition Report, or EICR for short, is a highly detailed inspection into the electrical system of your property. It has primarily been introduced in order to improve health and safety standards within the private rental sector. However, the reports are not limited to rental properties and it is highly recommended as a way to identify any defects which could potentially be hazardous in all properties.
What does the law say?
As previously mentioned, there have been numerous changes on the rental side of electrical certificate legislation. As a result, it is extremely important that you are aware of the changes and are fully compliant. As of June 1st, all landlords wishing to start a new tenancy agreement, renew an existing tenancy and bring in replacement tenants, will be legally required to provide a ‘satisfactory’ EICR Report before the tenants can move in or the tenancy be renewed.
If you are looking to sell your property then, currently, regulations do not require you to provide a report. However, it is common practice for a buyer’s lawyer to request a maintenance history as part of their enquiries so already having a valid report can save a lot of time.
Who can carry out the report?
Your EICR Report inspection should be carried out by a fit and proper person – ideally a fully qualified and approved electrician. They should be registered with a government-approved scheme provider. Having government scheme approval ensures that they are compliant with the latest IET 18th Edition safety standards.
There are a number of approved accreditation bodies in the UK, some of the most common of which are Stroma, Napit, Elecsa and NICEIC. Best practice recommends that you ask the engineer which of the approved schemes they are approved by and for their ID and registration number before they start working on your property. If you have any doubts about their credentials, always verify them by checking on the website of the accrediting body.
How long will the inspection take?
This really depends on the size of your property and the amount of circuits within the system. If you have a smaller property, up to two bedrooms, the engineer will need approximately between 1-2 hours. For bigger, family houses, it is advised to allow around 3-4 hours. These times can be extended if the installation is complicated or if the electrician discovers any defects.
How long is an EICR valid for?
If you are a private household then the current guidelines recommend a new report is carried out every ten years. If you are a landlord then you will need to have your EICR Report renewed every five years.
Can I fail the inspection?
As we have previously discussed, if you want to rent your property, you must provide a ‘satisfactory’ EICR Report. If you have an older property there may be some components that do not conform to the current standards. When this is the case, the electrician will advise you which part of your installation does not meet the standard and why.
Any faults in your system will be marked using these codes;
- C1 – means ‘danger present’ – the risk of injury is high and immediate action is needed.
- C2 – there is a potential danger and remedial action is needed urgently.
- C3* – means that improvement of your electrical system is recommended. However, you can still pass the test with a C3 code.
What happens if I do fail the report?
If your property does not return a ‘satisfactory’ EICR Report then you have a period of 28 days in order to have the remedial works carried out and a new certificate issued. Once you have the new certificate, you then have another 28 days to provide it to your tenants.
What happens if I don’t have one?
If you fail to comply with the legislation, the penalties are strong. Your local authority will enforce the regulations and penalties of up to £30,000 for each breach can be applied.
How can I book an EICR Report?
If you want to book your EICR and find the best prices in the market then use MyConstructor. Their price comparison booking platform offers access to a nationwide network of qualified electrical engineers in your local area. Just enter your postcode and number of bedrooms, then book online with competitive, fixed prices 24/7!