Come 1st April 2021 all properties that are rented will legally be required to have a current EICR.
What is it?
An EICR is a formal document that stands for ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report’ that follows from an assessment of the electrical installation within a property. It must be carried out by an experienced qualified electrician or approved contractor.
Usually this means they will have taken a course covering periodic inspection and testing and are registered with the Joint Industry Board (JIB) or a scheme provider such as the NICEIC plus they have a good working knowledge and experience of electrical installations.
The New Legislation
Landlords in England will need to have a valid EICR before 1st April 2021 and serve it to the tenants within 28 days of inspection. Failure do comply with this could leave Landlords with fines up to £30,000. It is the Local Authority of where that property is located that will be responsible for enforcing these new rules, as per the Housing Act 2004.
The law first changed on 1st April 2020 when an Electrical Installation Condition Report was a requirement for any new tenancy and since 1st April 2021 it will become a requirement on all tenancies, not just new ones.
Whats happens during an EICR?
During an EICR, an electrician may make a number of electrical observations and will give each one a recommendation code. The observations describe a defect or omission within the electrical installation. The electricians will code each observation according to the level of severity. The observations will be written in a clear way and are not in any way a sales tool. The customer would then be able to source competitive quotes for the works recommended should they wish to do so.
What happens if there are issues?
Any recommendations from the report to repair the property must be made by a qualified electrician within 28 days, unless specified to be done sooner. The electrician upon making those repairs must provide the Landlord with written confirmation that safety standards have been met or more work is needed.
An EICR previously was valid for ten years but now the report is valid for five years. At which point a new assessment of the electrical safety of the rented property needs to be made to check the condition of the electrical installation and ensure there is no deterioration.
Why have an EICR?
There are many reasons why a householder might request an EICR and indeed they are highly recommended where proof may be required to show an electrical installation is safe. One of the more common reasons an EICR is requested is in rented accommodation where an EICR is the most straightforward and least time consuming method of proving an electrical installation is safe. Other reasons to have an Condition Report made are as follows:
- Age of the installation (the older the installation the more often an EICR should be carried out)
- Type of property. For example, if the property has a swimming pool, the recommended interval between an EICR is 1 year, however only the parts of the installation relating to the swimming pool would need to be assessed
- Environmental Conditions
- Misuse of the installation such as vandalism
- Change in usage of the domestic premises. This could be change of occupancy in rental properties, or a property is being prepared to be sold, or the property is being purchased. It is highly recommended that an EICR is carried out with each change of occupancy in rental properties to ensure the property remains electrically safe. Equally, requesting an EICR on a property that is being purchased is the best way to find out if work needs to be carried out on the electrical system
- Any concerns the householder has about the condition of their electrical installation