Welcome to Bilwire Electrical Services first blog article. We’d like to cover the new electrical inspection condition report or EICR that all landlords in Manchester and the U.K. need to provide to their tenants by April 2021. As we’re in August now, if you haven’t already done so then please contact us immediately so we can get your properties up to date with the current standards. Now hopefully if you’re a landlord and you’re reading this you will already have put the wheels in motion to get your EICR done otherwise we do suggest you getting a wriggle on because we are now 4 months over the deadline.
It’s compulsory for all landlords to have an EICR done on all their properties so today we want to talk about most of the common questions that come up when talking about the EICR, so for example:
We’re also going to talk about what your obligations are as a landlord so let’s get started:
An EICR is an electrical inspection condition report. It actually came into force from the 1st of June 2020. This was for all new tenancies but it hadn’t come in for existing tenancies until the 1st of April 2021. It is a regulation and it’s overseen by the department of housing communities and local government and much like our gas safety check that landlords have to do every year. This is basically the government coming in and trying to help tenants and make sure that they crack down on some landlords who might be putting their tenants at risk. Not only will your tenants be happy but you will also have peace of mind that everything in your property is up to date and no one’s going to get hurt. The EICR is designed to bring your property up to date with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations which came out in 2019.
The EICR needs to be carried out on all what i call baby buy-to-let properties so any kind of standard rental plus if you have a small HMO, a house of multiple occupancy with between two and four tenants, all not part of a family but they’re all separate individuals living there then you will also need an EICR for that property as well. If you have a larger HMO with five or more unrelated tenants in it then you would need a license for that and as such your electrical checks form part of the conditions for your license. So providing you have a license on your HMO you should be covered for this already but if you’re in any doubt whatsoever we would say definitely check with your local council just to make sure.
Your EICR covers all the fixed electrical items in your property. Things like light switches, light fittings, plug sockets, the wiring of the fuse box plus anything that’s permanently there, for example; if you’ve got an electric shower installed it would cover that and extractor fans as well would be covered too. It does not cover small individual items. Things like kettles, toasters and so on. Those are a separate electrical test called a PAT test, which is short for Portable Appliance Testing and the only time you need a PAT test as a landlord is if you have supplied those things to your tenant but if your tenant has supplied them themselves then they don’t need a PAT test on the kettles and toasters as that’s not a legal requirement for landlords in the U.K. at the moment. If you’re a landlord then you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to but it is best practice if you are providing tenants with appliances like kettles and toasters etc then you might want to consider doing so. Your EICR covers all the fixed electrical things that you can’t remove from the property. Hopefully your EICR will be okay but if the EICR test is unsatisfactory then you as a landlord will have 28 days to remedy the situation and fix anything that needs fixing. Please don’t be surprised if work needs to be done, it’s amazing how quickly wiring can go out of date. The main issue that we find in a lot of properties made in the 80’s and 90’s is that the fuse box which is now known as a consumer unit to be outdated and not able to handle the loads of modern appliances.
Your EICR certificate will last you for five years, so it’s important to note that as a landlord you’ll have to do this all over again and probably have things come up again that need fixing so just remember to plan for that kind of stuff coming up in the future.
In section three of the EICR form you will know if if the EICR was satisfactory or unsatisfactory. It will mention if the condition of the electrics is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Part five will let mention when you should have your next EICR. It’s very important that you know when you should have your next EICR done. It’s a good idea to make a note of that on any spreadsheets you have so that you can remember because five years actually is quite a long time. Unless you’ve got this written down somewhere, you’re probably going to forget after five years and it’s probably best not to rely on your letting agent to help you, so we recommend that you always have that written down somewhere safe and accessible.
Section six may give you the details of all the things that needs remedial work section 10 should let you know of the things that has actually been tested in the property.
As a landlord it’s important to know what your responsibilities are when it comes to getting your EICR. According to the .gov website it mentions that as landlords you must do the following things:
Ensure that the national standards for electrical safety are met by the 18th edition of the wiring regulations which were published as British standard 7671
Ensure that the electrical installations in your rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every five years
To obtain an EICR from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test so you have to give your tenant a copy of the report if they’re already and a copy of the EICR to a new tenant before they occupy the premises. If you’ve got a vacant property and you’ve got tenants coming to look at the property before they move in you must give them a copy of this EICR.
To supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report. So if you’ve got people looking to rent your property and they’ve said maybe to you as the landlord or maybe they’ve said to the letting agent, does this property have an EICR report? then obviously you would need to supply that to them within 28 days.
If you have been requested by the council to supply a copy of the EICT then you should provide them with this within seven days of receiving a request for a copy
The .gov website also mentions for you as a landlord to retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test. so make sure that you’ve got a copy of the EICR to hand for them.
It also mentions that any remedial work or further investigative work if necessary, is to be completed within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report. You will have 28 days effectively from the initial report when it’s unsatisfactory to get the work done to bring your EICR to satisfactory.
No matter how extensive your electrical needs may be, the certified electricians at Bilwire Electrical Services will ensure a clean job that’s performed with the utmost care. Our company was founded by Bilal S, a local electrician whose interest in electrical work began in high school and grew into the business you see today. Our commitment to providing the very best electrical work is evident in every project we complete to this day, and we’d be happy to show you first-hand the outstanding service you can expect from our licensed electricians in Manchester.
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