It is required by law that all electrical installations be tested every 5 years. However, finding someone to certify your electrical check and fulfil your legal obligations can be pretty difficult to know how it all works. Here, you find everything you’ll ever need to know about it:
What the regulations say:
- The legal requirement of the Landlord electrical safety certificate has changed. Regulations now require landlords to hire a competent person to have electrical installations in their rented properties inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified and competent person. Additionally, the new landlord electrical safety certificate rules will help to ensure that private tenants are better protected.
- Landlords in England must ensure that all electrical installations for new private tenancies are inspected and tested by a qualified person before the tenancy began on 1st July 2020. An electrical safety test will be required for existing tenancies by 1st April 2021.
- When Landlords replace the electrical installation condition report ( EICR, also known as electrical safety certificate ) for their tenant, they must provide their tenants with a copy of the new report within 28 days of the electrical testing.
- Landlords must also provide tenants with one within 28 day, if a tenant requests a copy of the electrical installation condition report in writing.
Upkeepone can carry electrical inspection and issue a landlord electrical safety certificate, commonly known as an EICR. Contact Upkeep One Now for your electrical inspections.
What is an electrical safety certificate?
A qualified electrician issues an electrical safety certificate, which is a report. It demonstrates that all electrical systems in a building are operational and safe to use. The EICR does not have a standard format, so it will differ from one company to the next.
How to get an electrical safety certificate?
To obtain an electrical certificate, you should contact a local electrical service company that has qualified electricians to check your electrical system. In fact, Upkeepone provides inspection and issues with electrical certificates.
What does an electrical safety certificate show?
This report will record the updates you need to make, as well as the checks. 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.
The objectives of landlord electrical safety certificate and test:
- Find any damage that might affect electrical safety, and report it.
- Identify any parts of the installation that do not fulfil the IET Wiring Regulations.
- To record the electrical inspection results and test to make sure the electrical installation is safe to be used for until the next electrical inspection (following any work needed to make it safe).
- Help to find anything that might lead to electric shocks and high temperatures, which can cause fires, deaths and other life-threatening injuries.
Is an electrical safety certificate a legal requirement for UK landlords in 2021?
Yes. A new regulation was put in place that makes all landlords legally responsible for checking their properties at least every five years. “If the inspector finds that you need to do work or further investigations after their checks, you’ll need to follow their recommendations within 28 days of the report. You’ll also need to send written confirmation to your tenants and your local authority within 28 days of finishing the work.”
Do you need an electrical safety certificate as a landlord?
It is important to remember that it is a legal requirement to carry out an electrical test every five years by a qualified person for your rented properties.
Is it a legal requirement to get appliances checked?
Landlords don’t need to carry out regular checks on toasters and fridges. But the law still says, it’s up to the landlord to make sure appliances are safe to use. Upkeepone recommends getting portable appliance testing for any appliances in your rental property. When you consider that the tenant supplies the appliances, the landlord does not have to be concerned about them.
Which parts of the house are included in an electrical safety inspection?
All electrical parts need to be checked every 5 years that includes:
- Plug sockets
- Light fittings
- Fuse boxes
- Wiring for permanently connected equipment such as cooker, hob, showers and extractor fans.
How often do I need to replace the Electrical Certificate Report / EICR?
Certainly, it would be best if you replaced it as often as needed to ensure it remains valid.
What about new build properties or new electrical fittings?
An electrical installation certificate (EIC) is required for new property or new electrical installations. You will need an EICR after five years to check if you are still safe and effective.
I’m a homeowner. Do I need an electrical safety certificate?
If you own your home, you don’t need an electrical inspection. But you could be electrocuted in the process. It’s just as important to regularly check, no matter whether you own or rent your home.
Are the electrical safety certificates mandatory?
Yes, it is mandatory for a rental property.
Is an electrical safety certificate a legal requirement when selling a house or a flat?
There is no requirement to provide an electrical safety inspection when selling a house or a flat in the UK. Although supplying an electrical safety certificate could expedite the process, but this is not legally required.
How much does a residential landlord electrical safety certificate cost in the UK?
The cost of obtaining a landlord electrical safety certificate in the UK usually varies between £115-£650 for an average-sized home. However, the price of the certificate will vary depending on the complexity of the job, among other factors.
What are the main landlord electrical safety certificate requirements?
Here are the requirements:
- Ensure that their rented properties are inspected and tested by a competent and qualified person. Landlords must do this at least every 5 years.
- Provide a copy of the EICR (the electrical installation condition report) to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
- Make sure that the prospective tenants get a copy of the electrical report within 28 days of receiving a demand for the report.
- Give a copy of this report to new tenants before they occupy the premises.
- Hold a copy of the electrical report to provide to the inspection and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
- Reports must be submitted to the local authority within 7 days of the request being received.
- Complete all the remedial or further investigative work within 28 days or any shorter period where defined as necessary in the electrical report.
- Provide written confirmation to the local authority and the tenant within 28 days of completion of the remedial works. Landlords would need to get the documents of completion of the remedial works from the electrician.
How long does a landlord’s electrical certificate last?
Landlord’s electrical safety certificate lasts 5 years, but this can be shorter, so you should replace it as often as needed.
Who can complete an EICR?
A qualified and competent person can complete the electrical report or the works.
How often should a landlord test electrics?
According to new legislation, it is at least every 5 year. But you must replace it with the new tenancy despite the fact that it is still valid.
Who’s qualified to carry out an electrical safety inspection?
The inspection and report should be completed by an electrician who’s competent and has relevant qualifications. Sometimes electricians can be accredited by NICEIC, STROMA or the ECA. Or search on the Electrical Competent Person database. Please note, it is not a legal requirement for an electrician to be accredited by one of the schemes above but the electricians must have qualifications and competence to carry out the inspections for you.
Do I need an electrical certificate to sell my house in the UK?
No, it is not a law yet to have an electrical certificate when selling your house, but you should have one to show your electrical system is safe to prospective buyers.
What happens if I don’t comply with these Regulations?
Suppose a private landlord fails to obtain an electrical installation condition report or perform the necessary remedial work within the regulations’ timeframes. In that case, the local housing authority must issue a remedial notice, giving the landlord 28 days to respond.
For landlords, the consequences of violations of electrical regulations are drastic.
As a result of the new regulations, which came into effect in June 2020, landlords could face a £30,000 fine if they do not follow the rules.
Does this Regulation apply to Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
Yes, indeed. This repeals previous HMO laws, which set the requirement on HMO landlords on the 1st June 2020.
Why have electrical regulations been introduced?
The Electrical Standards Working Group held a consultation in 2018 to discuss electrical safety in the private rented sector. The government issued a response to the consultation in January 2019, including a number of recommendations, including requiring landlords to conduct electrical inspections every five years.
What were the laws regarding mandatory inspections before 2020?
Before 1st April 2020, electrical inspections were only required in England for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Other private tenancies were advised to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every five years, but it was not technically required by law.
What happens if my electrics are unsafe?
The landlord must make sure that a qualified contractor performs repairs or alterations recommended in the report. This must be done by the 28th day of the inspection – starting from the date indicated in the report.
Afterwards, the landlord will need to provide written confirmation of the work being completed and of the electrical standards compliance. This must be supplied to the tenant as well as to local authorities.
Do I need a new inspection and test even if my current one was carried out in the last 5 years?
Although an EICR was not previously required by law for single tenancies in England, many landlords still consider it best practice. Condition Reports on Electrical Installations are valid for 5 years. Suppose your rental property has a valid EICR when the regulations go into effect (1st April 2021). In that case, you won’t need to do another until that one expires. The only time you need a new one if the current one is not valid or you have a new tenancy.
When did the regulations come into force?
On 1st April 2020, the regulations come into force. From 1st July, 2020, they apply to all new tenancies in England, and from 1st April, 2021, they will apply to all existing tenancies in England.
What types of tenancy are excluded from mandatory electrical safety inspections?
There are a few types of tenancies that are not covered by the rules. These are the following:
- A tenancy in which the landlord is a privately registered social housing provider.
- Any tenancy in which the tenant lives with the landlord or a member of the landlord’s family.
- A long-lease tenancy is one that allows you to stay in your home for at least seven years.
- Accommodations for students.
- Hospitals, hostels, refuges, care homes, hospices, and other healthcare facilities
Do I need an EICR if my property was rewired?
You should receive an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) if your home has been completely rewired. Landlords will not be required to conduct additional checks or arrange for an EICR until five years after the EIC has been issued if they follow the regulations. Landlords can give tenants and, if necessary, the local government a copy of the EIC.
What if I have my EICR or EIC is valid for 10 years?
Electrical Installation Condition Reports were recommended every 10 years, not 5 before these regulations were enforced. Private rental properties must have an electrical inspection and EICR every five years starting on 1st April 2021.
As a result, if you have an existing certificate that was issued more than five years ago, it will not be valid under these regulations, even if it had a ten-year original validity.
If my property needs remedial work, can my tenant still move in?
If your EICR finds your property’s electrics to be unsatisfactory, you’ll be required to complete remedial work within 28 days. If at all possible, repair work should be completed prior to a tenant moving in.
Your tenant may be injured if your electrics are still unsafe when they move in, and you (the landlord) will be held liable.
When it comes to mandatory electrical safety inspections, how should landlords prepare?
To ensure that the regulations apply to all tenancies by 1st April 2021, all landlords should ensure that they have an up-to-date Electrical Installation Condition Report. Book your Electrical Installation Condition Report as soon as possible to avoid putting your property at risk.
Why do I need to send a copy of the report with proof of remedial work being completed to the Local Authority within 28 days if I have an unsatisfactory report?
This requirement was implemented to notify the Local Housing Authority of any previously unsafe properties but are now safe. As a private landlord, it is your responsibility to do so, and failure to do so may result in enforcement action.
Does this Regulation apply to Social Housing?
No. Social housing is subject to many regulations requiring the maintenance of electric safety standards, but at the moment the Social Housing system is not subject to a 5-year report on electric safety.
If an electrical report is not given to a tenant before they move in (or within 28 days of a renewal of a report), does it prevent a Section 21 notice from being served?
No, under these regulations, this will not be the case.
What’ report’ should I be asking for?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used to assess the safety of an electrical installation. Its purpose is to confirm as far as possible whether or not the electrical installation is in a safe condition for continued service. The EICR will show whether the installation is ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’, for example.
These observations will be supported by codes.
Unsatisfactory Codes are:
C1 – Immediate remedial action required, risk of injury and danger present.
C2 – Urgent remedial action required, potentially dangerous.
FI – Further investigation required
A Satisfactory Code is:
C3 – Improvement recommended
Action is required if the EICR issued is unsatisfactory. If an EICR contains a C1, C2 or FI code,
A “recommended improvement” C3 code is given to aspects of the installation that do not present danger but will increase safety standards within the property.
How often is a periodic inspection required?
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
1 year for a swimming pool.
5 years for a rented home.
10 years for an owner-occupied home.
3 years for a caravan
Periodic electrical inspections should also be performed at the following times:
- When a property is getting ready to be rented out.
- Prior to selling or purchasing a previously occupied property.
What does an electrical inspection and test involve?
Only electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians, should conduct periodic inspections and tests.
All relevant circumstances are taken into account, and checks are carried out:
- Earth and bonding suitability.
- The type and the condition of the wiring system.
- The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear.
- The serviceability of electrical sockets, lighting fittings and switches.
- Make sure the electrical system is protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD).
- Adequate identity and notices are present.
- The extent of any wear and tear, deterioration and other damage.
- Any modifications in the use of the premises leading to or could result in unsafe conditions.
The competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report. If anything potentially dangerous or dangerous is identified, the electrical installation’s overall condition will be declared ‘unsatisfactory,’ requiring immediate remedial action to eliminate the risks to those present.
Do I have to have another full electrical installation safety report carried out if my first one is unsatisfactory?
Not necessarily. If the report is unsatisfactory and states that you need to rectify or investigate work that is urgent, you will have to complete it in 28 days.
To demonstrate that the required tasks have been completed, you need to have written confirmation (Electrical Installation Certificates and Minor Work Certificate) from your electrical installer, and this must be retained with the unsatisfactory report. But, it is always advisable to have a satisfactory report
Will I get a Certificate to demonstrate my compliance?
An electrical inspector and tester is not required to issue a certificate but is to issue a report that includes:
- The inspection and testing results (satisfactory or unsatisfactory).
- A list of observations requiring correction or further investigation, where applicable.
- The date of the next test and test.
Is an electrician allowed to enter my property during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Yes, although they should take appropriate measures regarding the virus and social distancing when working in occupied homes.
What if COVID is delaying my electrical work or tenants don’t want visitors?
Organising and carrying out electrical work has become more difficult than usual due to the ongoing pandemic. Suppose your tenants are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus or are attempting to isolate themselves. In that case, an electrician or inspector may be unable to visit the premises. From 1st April 2021, the government has no plans to extend the EICR deadline.
To maintain social distance, landlords and tenants should collaborate to make advance arrangements.
Local authorities, landlords, and contractors can gain access to tenants’ homes if they are not self-isolating.
How has COVID-19 impacted mandatory electrical safety inspections and EICRs?
Lockdown did not postpone the regulations as expected. The law was not set back by the pandemic. However, it caused a significant delay in electrical inspections, and the limited number of electricians available resulted in an unavoidable backlog. The government has since announced that work in other people’s homes can continue.
Sources and references:
Electrical Safety First