Landlords have a responsibility to ensure the properties they rent privately are safe to live in. Maintaining the safety of the electrical installations within a property is crucial and landlords have legal obligations to meet to verify this.
Using our search facility to find a company competent to undertake Electrical Inspection work and complete an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for you will give you the confidence that they meet the ‘qualified and competent’ requirement set out in the below legislation and guidance. For other benefits of using someone on this search facility, please see the benefits page.
Listed below are the differing legal obligations on landlords within England and Wales.
In England, under the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 landlords are required to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested, at least every five years, by a person who is qualified and competent.
This applies to new tenancies from the 1st July 2020 and to all other tenancies from the 1st April 2021.
In Wales, Landlords responsibilities are covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which states:"Landlords are required to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity."
Housing (Wales) Act 2014 requires Landlords or their letting agents to be registered with RentSmart Wales by November 2016. Best practice guidance in the RentSmart Code of Practice states: "A check on the electrical installation should be carried out at least once every 5 years by a competent electrician, and the results should be recorded in the form of an EICR."
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and is used to describe its condition. Parts of the system that are reported on include fuse board (also known as a consumer unit), protective bonding, lighting, switches and sockets etc. Its purpose is to confirm as far as possible whether or not the electrical installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service.
The EICR will show whether the electrical installation is in a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory condition and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or requiring improvements.
Action is required if the EICR issued is Unsatisfactory. If an EICR contains a C1, C2 or FI code, it will always be deemed unsatisfactory. If a C1 is discovered, the electrician, with permission, will often take action to make safe the dangerous installation. Then, as is also the case with a C2 and FI code, it will be the owner’s responsibility to organise a repair, replacement or further investigation. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations require landlords to arrange any required work to be completed within 28 days.
A C3 code, improvement recommended, is given to aspects of the installation that do not present a danger but will result in an increased safety standard within the property. Occasionally a C3 code may be attributed to an item that does not comply with current regulations but did comply at the time it was installed. A C3 code does not mean the installation is unsatisfactory and should not impose a requirement to have work carried out on the owner. Where there are only C3 observations listed, this will result in a satisfactory EICR being issued.