What electrical checks must landlords complete?

If you are a private landlord renting property in England, you will need to abide by the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector regulations 2020. These rules apply to all tenancies created in England on or after 1st July 2020. If you are a private landlord, you must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) completed by a competent professional every five years. This will confirm that the electrical system in your property is safe.

What is an EICR?

 An Electrical Installation Condition Report is an inspection carried out by a qualified and competent electrician to verify the safety of your electrical system. It applies to all tenancies that began on or after 1st July 2020. It typically will take around half a day to complete and costs from £150 to £300 depending on the size and location of your property. This sort of inspection only needs to be completed once every five years. The electrician will test the fixed electrical installations in the property, that means anything that is permanently wired in as part of the system. This includes:

  • Plug sockets
  • Light fixtures
  • Fuse boxes
  • Wiring
  • Extractor fans
  • Electric showers

This will not include appliances like TVs or kettles or white goods. You can organise Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), which is recommended as further proof that you are keeping your property safe. It is not a legal requirement in the same way an EICR is.

Your obligations

You have a number of obligations to tenants, prospective tenants, and the local housing authority that you must meet.

You will need to obtain a valid report from the electrician who completed your inspection and test. This report will need to show the results and confirm the date of the next inspection. You will need to supply copies of this report so be sure to make copies and store them somewhere easy for you to access.

You must be able to supply a copy of this report to any resident tenant within 28 days of the test being completed.

If your local housing authority sends you a written request, then you must provide a copy of the report within 7 days of that request.

When the next inspection comes around five years later, you will need to provide a copy of the last report to whoever is completing this inspection.

You must provide a copy of the report to any tenant before they move in, and any prospective tenant within 28 days of them making a written request.

Report results

Your inspection will find if your system is satisfactory or unsatisfactory and your report will indicate the work that needs to be taken to make the property safe.

  • FI: This stands for ‘Further Investigation’. It indicates that more tests will need to be conducted in order to properly complete the report and give you
  • C1: This indicates that there is danger present in your system, with a risk of injury. Work will need to be taken immediately to rectify this.
  • C2: Not as serious as a C1 result, it means your system is potentially dangerous, and action will need to be taken before it is considered satisfactory.
  • C3: This is an issue that does not pose a danger but would raise the standard of safety at the property if it was amended. If your report only has C3s, then it is deemed satisfactory.

If you receive your report and work is required to rectify C1 or C2 issues, you will need to organise this work to take place within 28 days. If you fail to do so, you could face a fine of up to £30,000. Once you have completed the work to rectify an unsatisfactory report you don’t need to have another inspection completed. Just keep the proof of the corrective work with the initial report.

Make sure all of your EICR testing is undertaken by a professional. Contact Coutts Electrical Contractors for all of your commercial testing and inspection. You can reach our team on 0800 112 5050 or office@couttselectrical.co.uk.