Electrical Installation Condition Report
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a formal document that is produced following an assessment of the electrical installation within a property.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report will:
Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
Identify any defective electrical work.
Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.
How often should you have an EICR ?
The electrical safety council recommend electrical installations should be inspected and tested at least every:
10 years for an owner-occupied home.
5 years for a rented home.
3 years for a caravan
1 year for a swimming pool.
Inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians. They will check the condition of the electrics against BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations).
The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and checks on:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear. For example, an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, or a mixture of both will need replacing.
The serviceability of switches, sockets and lighting fittings. Items that may need replacing include: older round-pin sockets, round light switches, cables with fabric coating hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.
The type of wiring system and its condition. For example, cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s. Likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation).
The provision of residual current devices (RCD) for circuits, particularly sockets that may be used to supply portable electrical equipment for use outdoors.
The presence of adequate identification and notices.
The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions.
On completion of the inspection you will receive a report detailing the condition of the installation. If any dangerous (C1) or potentially dangerous (C2) conditions are found, the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared to be 'unsatisfactory', meaning that remedial action is required without delay to remove the risks. Recommended improvements (C3) will also be noted on the report but will not constitute a failure of the installation. Once any necessary remedial work has been completed, an appropriate certificate should be issued to confirm that the remedial work has been carried out in accordance with BS 7671.
Visual Condition Report
A visual condition report will include the results of the inspection of the electrical installation.
A visual condition report does not include testing, so the inspection is not likely to find hidden damage to equipment (for example, damage to cables and joints).
Usually, a visual inspection report is only suitable if the installation has been tested in the last couple of years, and the results were reported (on an electrical installation certificate or an electrical installation condition report) as being satisfactory (good enough).
Electrical Installations in Rental Properties
he Landlords and Tenant Act (1985) requires landlords of properties with short leases to keep the electrical wiring in repair and in proper working order.
Landlords have a duty of care to their tenants and must ensure that the installation is safe when they enter the property and is maintained throughout their tenure.
The Landlords and Tenants Act (1985) requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
safe when a tenancy begins and
maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
It is recommended that in order to comply with this Act, they get a registered electrician to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on any property they intend to let before getting tenants in. This will certify whether the electrics are safe and highlight if anything needs upgrading.
In the case of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) there is a legal obligation to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on the property every five years.
If the property is not an HMO, then there is no legal obligation to get the installation tested on a periodic basis. However, it is recommend a full EICR is carried out every five years or on change of tenancy – whichever comes first.
This guidance is based on legal obligations set out in The Landlords and Tenant Act (1985).
Electrical Installations in Rental Properties 2020 Update
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020 and apply to all tenancies created on or after that date in England from 1 July 2020.
These new regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected at least every 5 years and tested by a person who is qualified and competent. Landlords will also have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants as well as to the local authority if requested.
What the regulations say:
Private landlords must ensure every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person.
The regulations apply in England to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021. 'New specified tenancies' is any tenancy created on or after 1 June 2020.
Following the inspection and testing, a private landlord must:
obtain a report from the person conducting that inspection and test, which gives the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next inspection and test
supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test
supply a copy of that report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that authority
retain a copy of that report until the next inspection and test is due and supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test
supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises; and any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that prospective tenant.
In the event of an Unsatisfactory Report:
Where an Electrical Installation Safety Report identifies urgent remedial work or requires 'further investigation', the private landlord must ensure that the required work is carried out by a qualified and competent person within 28 days (or the period specified in the report if it is less than 28 days), starting with the date of the inspection and testing.
The landlord must then:
obtain written confirmation from a qualified person that further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met or the further investigative or remedial work is required
supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report which required the further investigative or remedial work to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work, and also to the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work.
Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new regulations and can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 if they find a landlord is in breach of their duty.
Local authorities have the power to serve remedial notices on the private landlord. If the remedial notice is ignored and action is not taken with 28 days, the local authority can arrange remedial work to be carried out, with consent from the tenant, and recover the costs from the landlord.