Landlords with properties in England and Scotland, and new occupation contracts in Wales, need to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in order to rent them out.
An EICR is a check on the electrical wiring, sockets, consumer units (fuse boxes) and other fixed electrical parts at the property.
You will need to ensure that a qualified and competent person completes any electrical safety checks at your property.
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EICR Rules in England
Since 1st April 2021 all tenancies in England have required a valid EICR.
Landlords must supply a copy of a valid EICR to all tenants at the beginning of the tenancy, when issuing a new contract (including renewals), and also to any prospective tenant, if asked, within 28 days of receiving a written request.
An EICR must include:
- The results of the inspection and test (satisfactory or unsatisfactory)
- If applicable, a list of observations requiring remedial work or further investigation
- The date the next inspection and test is due by
Once completed your EICR will be valid for up to five years. At the end of 5 years, you will need to renew your report, at which point you will have 28 days to provide a copy of the new certificate to any sitting tenants.
Is there a fine for not having an EICR?
Landlords who fail to conduct an EICR (and any work it recommends) before a new tenancy commences will face a fine of up to £30,000. Local authorities are responsible for enforcing these rules, as specified under the Housing Act 2004.
Local authorities can also arrange remedial action if you do not take action on the recommended repairs and improvements in the report. After receiving a notice of remedial act ion, landlords will have 28 days to have the work undertaken. If it’s an urgent notice, they may give a shorter time frame.
What if my property fails the electrical inspection?
If the report requires the landlord to make remedial work to ensure the safety of the property, then you must enlist a qualified and competent person to undertake these works within 28 days (or sooner if the report states that work is more urgent).
The qualified person must then provide the landlord with written confirmation, either that the property now meets safety standards, or that further work is required. You must then supply this written confirmation to each tenant within 28 days of the initial work, along with a copy of the original report to the local housing authority within 28 days of the further work.
Since the introduction of The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 on 1st December 2022, similar regulations have also applied to new occupation contracts (tenancies) in Wales. This is part of the new Fitness for Human Habitation Rules
In Wales landlords must have a ‘periodic inspection and testing’ (PIT) at their property at least every 5 years. Once completed, an electrician will issue an EICR highlighting any issues that need fixing.
Landlords must then provide contract-holders (tenants) with a copy of the EICR within 14 days (previously 7) of the occupation date (tenancy start date).
If you do not have the property properly inspected every 5 years, then the dwelling will be considered ‘unfit for human habitation’.
If the report fails, you will need to arrange for any recommended remedial works to be completed at the property, or organise for further investigation. You will then need to provide the contract-holder with written confirmation of any remedial works or further investigations carried out within 14 days.
For tenancies that began before 1st December 2022, these requirements will not apply until December 2023.
Again, similar rules have existed in Scotland since 1st December 2015. Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, landlords with properties in Scotland must arrange for a ‘qualified and competent’ person to undertake regular electrical safety inspections at their properties. A person is usually qualified and competent if they are are registered with NICEIC or a member firm of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT).
In Scotland, the electrical safety inspection has two separate elements. Firstly, an EICR on the safety of the electrical installations, fixtures and fittings, and secondly, a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) on portable appliances.
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Note: Updated February 2023