Landlords! EICR Obligations Needn’t Make Your Hair Stand on End
As a landlord you have a legal obligation to ensure your property is safe for your tenants. Of course, this includes the electrics. Just as paint weathers on window sills and carpets wear out so do electrical installations deteriorate with the ravages of time. As a result, regular electrical installation condition reports are required to stay on the right side of the legislation while keeping your property safe.
Electrical installations, out of sight…
It’s very easy to take electricity for granted. You can’t miss peeling paint or threadbare patches on your carpets but your electrics are hidden. Cables and wires are concealed behind walls, consumer units are tucked away in cupboards, it is easy to forget to check the condition of these electrical installations.
But as a landlord you are obliged to keep electric installations in good working order. You don’t want your tenants touching the wrong thing and having their hair stand on end!
As a landlord, what are my obligations?
Well, it depends… If you are letting through a Housing Association or a Council, EICRs are mandatory. But under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 landlords or letting agents are responsible for the safety of electrical appliances and installations. Avoiding regular checks means you may fail to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Fines and even imprisonment are possible as a result.
The good news it is easy to comply with regulations. Ask Gainsborough to do you an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)! Simple. You can relax, there’s no need for your hair to stand on end over this!
Having said that, please note – bald landlords are also subject to the law!
How often do you require an EICR?
For tenanted properties you should have an EICR every five years. This is the maximum period between checks. But it is also recommended at each change of occupancy, if sooner than five years. If the change occurs after a short period of time, let’s say six months or less, a full inspection is not required. A visual check will suffice to confirm the property is safe. In this instance an EICR is not usually required.
For HMOs the House in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 require that every electrical installation is inspected and tested every 5 years. This must be done by a suitably qualified individual who then must provide a certificate with the results of the inspection.
This is where an EICR from Gainsborough comes in. We are NICEIC accredited, hence suitably qualified!
The periodic inspection leads to an EICR…
The condition report details any remedial work required AND any de-energising of an obviously defective part of the installation, until the fault can be fixed. For example, if the shower unit is faulty it will be put out of commission until it is fixed and can be used safely.
The periodic inspection refers to the checks that make up this detailed report. This involves a qualified electrician checking the condition of electrical installations against BS 7671, the UK safety standard for your electrics. This covers checks for:
Overloaded circuits or equipment
Fire hazards and risks of electrical shocks
Defective electrical work
Missing earthing or bonding
EICRs for landlords, the bottom line
In many cases regular inspections and EICRs are obligatory. But in any case, an EICR provides peace of mind for tenants and landlords. It ensures the property is safe and fits with legislative guidelines and insurance requirements. In addition, it highlights any areas where your electrics can be improved. This may reduce electricity waste which will make for a happy tenant. Happy tenants look after their homes, pay their rent on time and stay longer, reducing void periods!
Please call Gainsborough. As NICEIC accredited electrical contractors we’ll be delighted to arrange an Electrical Installation Condition Report for your property. We work with landlords and letting agents in Southend on Sea and across Essex.
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