Are you a landlord who’s been proactive in making sure that the electrical installations at your place are regularly tested and in perfect working condition? Good job! You have proven that you are concerned about the safety of your tenants, and you are making an applaudable contribution to the housing market. Sadly, there are still some people who have been renting their houses out for years but do not understand or take an interest in residential electricalinstallation condition report (EICR). This, of course, not only puts the tenants’ safety and lives in danger but also becomes a legal liability.
What Is An EICR?
A residential electrical installation condition report (EICR) involves a thorough inspection of all the electrical installations and systems, such as light fittings, fuse boxes, cables, and water heating systems present on your property. Following this in-depth inspection by a registered electrician, you are provided with a report that either confirms that all the electrical installations on your property are in good condition and meet the safety standard, or points out the issues present in the installations that can then be repaired within 28 days.
Is EICR Mandatory?
Yes, from July 2020 landlords in the UK must make sure that all electrical systems and installations on their property are thoroughly tested and approved by a certified electrician. It is recommended that the electrical installation testing is performed at least once every 5 years. It should be performed sooner if it states on the report prepared by the electrician.
Make sure that you notify the tenants 24 hours prior to an inspection. In case of a negative EICR, the electric installation is deemed unsatisfactory. Three codes are used to denote the status of the electric installation: C1, C2 and C3.
C1 means that a serious fault is present which can injure someone; hence action must be taken as soon as possible. C2 means that the potential of an electric accident is present and quick action must be taken. C3 means that although no apparent risk is present, certain things about the electric system can be improved to reduce the risk of any future mishaps.
Is PAT A Part Of EICR?
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) involves the thorough inspection of portable electrical devices such as toasters, irons, kettles or TVs in the house. Although PAT is not mandatory, having portable appliances tested regularly ensures that you are complying with several regulations, such as the Landlord and Tenant Act (1985), for the safety and well-being of your tenants.
Tenants’ Responsibilities Regarding EICR
If you’re a tenant, there are certain things you can do to play your part. Being a responsible tenant not only promotes good landlord-tenant relationships but is also important for your and fellow tenants’ safety. You can play your part by noticing any faults in the electric installations and reporting them to your landlord or the housing association. When an electrician is called in for inspection, let them in and explain the electrical faults you have encountered. Visual checks are always a good idea but leave the thorough testing to the experts with the right equipment because with electrical faults, you’re always at risk of getting injured.
EICR is nothing too complicated. It is a way of ensuring your and your tenants’ safety. All you need is to get in touch with certified electricians at least once every 5 years to perform an in-depth testing of your property’s electrics. As your electrical system gets approved, you can be at peace knowing all the electrics on your property are safe for use and you are a responsible, law-abiding landowner.