EICR explained

What are EICRs and where do you stand legally as a landlord of a rental property?


What is an Electrical Installation Condition Reports  (EICR) 

Any damage, deterioration, faults, and/or situations that could pose a risk and are noted in an electrical installation condition report (EICR), along with any observations that call for repair.  

Compared to a Visual Inspection Report (VIR)  it is a more thorough report that will involve checking all the circuits and devices that cut out supply in the event of a fault. This thorough check enables the inspector to find any potential concealed flaws or problems that cannot be found during a VIR.  

The goal of an EICR, formerly also known as a periodic inspection and testing of an electrical installation is to assess if the installation is fit for continuous use in the best possible way. In the course of selling their home, homeowners frequently request or get a condition report.  

An EICR is should be carried out at least  or every five for rental property or ideally whenever there is a change in occupancy  EICRs typically take 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on the size of the property and the quantity of circuits that need to be tested. 

Why is an EICR needed? 

All electrical installations, over time, will deteriorate naturally as they are a working mechanism made up of various components and working systems.  

Much like an MOT for cars it is important that you ensure you carry out checks on the condition of the electrics in your home at regular intervals. This will help identify any faults or defects which could require improvement and will ensure the continued operation of the installation in a safe and effective manner.  

Do I need to instruct and EICR for my rental property in? 

New Regulations came into effect on June 1, 2020, as part of the governments’ broader efforts to promote safety in all home settings, notably in the private rented sector. The regulations require compliance with national electrical safety standards.  

These are specified in British Standard 7671, the 18th edition of the “Wiring Regulations.”The regulation applies to all new tenancies from this date and all new tenancies from 1st of April 2021.  

It is now compulsory for landlords to have the electrical systems in their properties inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified and competent person. Landlords must give a copy of the electrical safety report to their renters and, if asked, to their local authority.  

The regulations further outline the landlords responsibility to respond and instruct remedial works and upgrades to ensure compliance. According to these new regulations, landlords must arrange for experienced and competent individuals to assess and test the electrical installations in their homes at least once every five years. 

A copy of the electrical safety report must be given by landlords to tenants and, upon request, the local authority.  

Landlords who fail to comply with these new safety regulations could face a fine of up to £30000. For further information on the new regulations please see this guide

What Wil be inspected and tested during the EICR? 

The ‘fixed’ electrical components of the property, such as the wiring, socket-outlets, light fixtures, and consumer unit (or fuse box), will be inspected. This will include equipment with a permanent connection, such as showers and extractors.  

During the inspection, our inspectors will determine if any electrical installations are overloaded, if there are potential electric shock risks and fire hazards, if there is any defective electrical work, and if there is a lack of earthing or bonding – two methods of preventing electrical shocks that are built into electrical installations.  

Will the appliances be inspected as part of the EICR?  

The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only electrical installations that are permanently installed.  

As a matter of best practice, we recommend that landlords conduct portable appliance testing (PAT) on all electrical appliances they provide and then provide tenants with a record of all electrical inspections. Tenants are responsible for ensuring the safety of any electrical appliances they own. Contact us today to enquire about PAT testing and EICR packages. 

What types of rented properties are covered by the electrical safety regulations 

In all circumstances when a private tenant has the right to occupy a property as their sole or primary residence and pays rent, the Regulations apply. This covers licenses to occupy and assured short hold tenancies. 

Do I need an EICR for my HMO property? 

A home with at least three tenants who do not belong to the same “household” (for instance, a family) but who share amenities like the kitchen and bathroom is referred to as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). These Regulations apply to an HMO if it serves as a renter’s sole or primary residence and the tenant pays rent there.  

Landlords were previously given particular obligations regarding electrical safety under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations of 2006. The new Electrical Safety Regulations now cover HMOs in place of this provision, which has been removed.  

What is a Visual Inspection report? 

A visual inspection is a simple test to find any apparent indications of flaws, damage, or degradation. Your electricity will probably stay on throughout the examination because there won’t be any circuit testing done.  

You must grant the electrician access to every room in your house. Depending on the size of the property, the report will normally take an hour to complete. The electrician will take notes throughout the visual inspection, and thereafter, the homeowner will receive a Visual Inspection Report (VIR).  

The Visual Inspection report will include a thorough assessment of the installation’s state as well as a number of observations and suggestions. This is carried out by the most diligent landlords as supplement to existing EICR reports. As an example a valid EICR report will be supplement by annual VIRs to ensure the installation is well maintained and any flaws can be pick up early.  

What will an EICR tell me?  

The status of your property’s electrics will be thoroughly summarized by an EICR, and it will decide whether it complies with the most recent British Standard for electrical safety (BS 7671).  

It will provide various recommendations where improvement may be essential or advantageous to enhancing safety in your property and record a number of observations in accordance with BS 7671. 

A certificate indicating the general state of the electrical installation will be given to you once the EICR is finished. Typically, an EICR will offer coding based on the installation’s condition. 

These are the classification codes:  

  • Code C1 – This code should signal that there is danger present and that immediate action is necessary. The people using the installation are currently in danger.  
  • Code C2: If a defect or other foreseeable event were to occur in the installation or linked equipment, even if the observed deficiency was not deemed dangerous at the time of the inspection, it may turn into a genuine and immediate threat.  
  • Code C3 – This code denotes that, even while a discovered flaw is not regarded as a cause of immediate or possible risk, improvement would significantly increase the electrical installation’s safety.  
  • Code FI- for an observation means that “further investigation is needed right away.” This means that something was noticed by the person doing the electrical testing.  

Codes C1 and C2 get a rating of “unsatisfactory” on the report, and you must fix these problems to show compliance.  

A report could also be considered unsatisfactory if all it has are FI fault codes. For example, if a lot of circuits are not checked at the time of testing and each has a FI code, the inspector would not be able to say for sure whether these circuits are safe or not. 

 Any unsatisfactory inspection should be accompanied by a quote for remedial works where we it outline the required measures to ensure the installation is safe and fault free. As a general rule on rectification of all codes an inspector should be able to issue a satisfactory 5 year EICR or equivalent Electrical Installation Certificate (dependent on the extent of work required). 

What if I do not wish to carry out the remedial work? 

Failure to do so may mean that you do not receive a satisfactory EICR. In addition if a local authority has a good reason to think that a landlord is not following one or more of the rules in the Regulations, they must give the landlord a “remedial notice” telling them what they need to do to fix the problem.  

If a landlord does not comply with the notification, the local government may take corrective action itself. The local government is able to recoup the costs of legal action from the landlord. The landlord is permitted to contest a demand for costs. 

How can I know the conditions of the electrics in property I am buying? 

Before purchasing a home, it is always prudent to inquire with the current occupant if they have a current EICR. This will provide an overview of the current condition of the property’s electrical system. Contact us today to book an EICR at your convenience. 

I am about to rent out my property and I am worried the electrics may be unsafe 

The law requires landlords to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe before tenants move in and is kept in a safe condition for the duration of the tenancy.  

Landlord are required to undertake a periodic inspection and test (EICR) at least once every five years. Any appliance provided must also be safe and bear at least the CE marking (the manufacturer’s claim that the product meets all European law requirements).  

To comply with these regulations, landlords must regularly conduct basic safety inspections to ensure the electrical installation and appliances are safe and functional. 

What is my responsibility as a landlord once I have received the report 

Within 28 days after the receipt of the report, a copy should be provided to the current tenant or any prospective tenants. Before any tenancy may begin a copy of this report should made available. 

Occasionally a local authority may request a property’s electrical safety report. This should be provide within 7 days. 

For the upcoming inspection, keep a copy of the previous electrical safety report so the results may be compared. 

Any electrical or safety issues that may have been discovered during the inspection must be resolved within 28 days. The local government and the tenant need to be notified of these repairs within the same time frame 

Do New Installations require and EICR 

All new installations must include an Electrical Installation Certificate. These can be as an alternative documentation to the EICR in order to show compliance and safety of the system. A copy of this certificate should be given to the new occupying tenant.  

All new installations should be registered with the relevant accreditation scheme and local building control. It is important to note that new Electrical Installation  

Certificates can be issued for a maximum of 10 years when instructed by an owner occupier but as the occupancy changes and the said property is tenanted the maximum validity of certificate cannot exceed 5 years. This condition applies to both brand new installations and complete rewires.  

A property should also obtain an EIC, or electrical installation certificate, if it was recently constructed or had its wiring entirely replaced.  

Tenants and, upon request, the local authorities may receive copies of the EIC from landlords. If the landlord has fulfilled with their responsibility or duties under the Regulations, they will not be required to perform additional checks or give a report for 5 years after the EIC has been issued. 

Do I need to send a report to Local Authority if Remedial works have bene completed  

This duty was put in place to let the local housing authority know about any potential substandard or unsafe dwellings that have now been made safe. The unsatisfactory report must be submitted with written proof that the necessary remedial or additional work has been done.  

As a private landlord, it is your duty to carry out this duty otherwise, enforcement action may be taken against you. On completion of remedial works a satisfactory report will be issued to confirm the safety of the property and the next recommended inspection date. This should be sent along with any previous reports to the local authority. 

What should be the minimum requirements for an inspector to carry out EICRs 

  • Insurance cover . Requirement to  have at least £2 million public liability insurance and £250k professional indemnity insurance 
  • Minimum of two years’ experience in undertaking inspection and testing 

Will I fail EICR if my electrical installation doesn’t meet 18th Edition standards  

No. 18th Edition requirements are more specifically targeted at brand new installations, just because you have an older type of fuse board or installation doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe it just means that it doesn’t quite meet today’s standards.  

This may be highlighted on the EICR report as C3 not to current standards. But this does not mean that the EICR  is unsatisfactory or has not passed 

What if my tenant wont let the electrician in to inspect the property? 

If a landlord can demonstrate they have made all necessary steps to comply, they are not in violation of their obligation to abide with a remedial notice.  

When trying to organize the repairs, a landlord could demonstrate reasonable steps by maintaining copies of all correspondence with their tenants and with electricians, including any responses they may have received. While attempting to arrange for works, landlords may also want to offer further proof that the installation is in good condition. The servicing history and earlier safety report may be included. 

Which tenancy types are exempt from the required electrical safety inspections?  

The majority of tenancies, including regulated tenancies (pre-1989) and HMOs, are subject to these regulations. There are a few exceptions to the regulations regarding tenancy. These include:  

  • A lease in which the landlord is a registered private provider of social housing  
  • Any tenancy in which the tenant shares living space with the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family.  
  • A long-term lease or tenancy that grants the right of occupation for at least seven years.  
  • Student accommodation  
  • Hostels, shelters, care facilities, hospices, hospitals, and other healthcare structures. 

I had an EICR carried out 5 years ago is it still valid? 

A correctly issued EICR will have the issue date and the next due inspection date. Whilst most new installation should be given a 5 year validity this should not be assumed.  

This period is at the discretion and best judgment of the inspectors. It will rely on the findings discovered during the inspection and testing. Wear could be either seen during the visual inspection or more likely can be deduced by the readings taken during the testing.  

If engineers see readings that are close to the permissible tolerance levels they may recommend the installation is inspected at a shorter interval.  

What if I have a valid EIC or EICR for 10 years? 

Prior to the implementation of the new regulations, Electrical Installation Condition Reports were required every ten years, not five. Therefore many older certificates will have a ten year validity period but will no longer be valid once they pass five years 

Therefore, if you have an existing certificate that was issued more than five years ago, it will not comply with these regulations, even if its original validity was ten years.  

Private rental properties must undergo an electrical inspection and EICR every five years from the 1st of  April  2021. 

What if my EICR was unsatisfactory can my tenant still move in? 

If your EICR determines that the electrics in your home are unsatisfactory, you must complete the necessary repairs within 28 days. It is required that   

repairs are completed before a tenant moves into a property. If your tenant moves in and your electrics are still unsafe, they may be at risk of injury, and you (the landlord) will be liable for any resulting damages. 

Will my electric Cert fail if there is no RCD fitted? 

Having an RCD is vital for safety of occupants and the electrical installation system in the event of faults or incidents, but an EICR is an inspection of the condition to ensure the installation is safe.  

An inspector should not penalize an electrical installation for not having an RCD assuming: 

  1. The current installation is safe and without faults 
  2. The wiring is in good condition not showing signs of wear 
  3. The consumer unit is an existing unit and not an new installation. 

Whilst existing consumer units may not meet the current standards (18th edition), they can be noted in a satisfactory EICR as not to current standards if the rest of the installation is safe.  

Owners and landlords are not expected to upgrade their consumer units every time there is an update, but they are required to ensure the installation is safe and if a new Consumer Unit is installed it adheres to the new standards.  

Do I Need an Electric Certificate when selling my House? 

Since 2005 the law has required all notifiable electrical works to be registered with local building control and be issued an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).  

Unlike an EICR that may test a percentage of the electrical installation ( 100% inspection rule should always apply), an EIC issued on completion of works such as rewiring or replacing a consumer unit needs to include testing 100% of the installation. This means both EICRs and EICs should be adequate documents to meet the requirements of any buyer.  

In addition to the EIC which provides peace of mind to the buyer and meets building control requirements, buyer’s solicitors or lenders may request a Building Regulations Certificate of Compliance before completion.  

This document also sometimes referred to as a Certificate of Compliance for Building Regulations,  certifies that works have been carried out  in accordance with the relevant building regulations. This document is issued by local  building controlor the electricans competent person scheme on completion of works.  


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