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A simple guide to the electrical safety check

What is an EICR?

The Electrical Installation Condition Report isa thorough inspection of the electrical systems and installation of your property. It has been designed to improve health and safety regulations with the inspection focusing on the overall condition of the system, as well as identifying any deterioration or defects which have the potential to result in danger.

Do I need it to sell my property?

For owners looking to sell, an electrical safety check is not currently a legal requirement. However, it is worth noting that many solicitors will request the maintenance history of the electrical system, so having a report can save you both time and money.

Is an EICR required to rent my property?

Recent changes in legislation mean that, as of June 1st, 2020, privately rented properties will need a valid electrical safety check. This applies to both new tenancies and renewals/tenant replacement. If you are a landlord with tenants already in place, you have until April 1st, 2021 in order to get your EICR report. For business owners, a valid EICR is required as they are legally responsible for the welfare of their staff, customers, and tenants.

Who can perform an electrical safety check?

Current guidelines state that an electrical report must be carried out by a competent and qualified person. Qualified electricians must have taken the appropriate courses and training that cover periodic testing and inspection of electrical installations. They must also be registered with approved scheme providers to ensure their compliance with the latest standards of safety in the field (IET 18th Edition).

The most common of the recognized accreditation bodies in the UK are Stroma, NICEIC, Napit, and Elecsa. Before allowing a contractor to start work on your property it is recommended that you ask the contractor which scheme they are approved with and their certification credentials. You can cross-check these credentials on the website of the accrediting body.

How long should it take?

For smaller apartments, you should allow 1-2 hours for the inspection. Larger houses can sometimes take 3-4 hours, depending on the number of circuits in the property.

What are the legal obligations?

All of the tenants should be provided with a copy of the electricalsafety check before they occupy the property. When a new report is issued, you must provide tenants with the new report within 28 days of the inspection.

Given that electrical faults cause almost 50% of all household fires in the UK, failure to comply with regulations is taken very seriously. Your local authority is responsible for enforcement of regulations and they can issue civil penalties of up to 30,000 per breach of regulations.

In cases where non-urgent work has been identified, they must serve the landlord a notice detailing the work required and giving them 28 days to perform the work. The landlord may then make representations to the notice within 21 days of it being served. If you do then the local authority must respond to these representations within 7 days. Until a response is received, the requirement to perform the work is suspended.

If the local authority is satisfied the landlord is in breach and they have the tenant’s permission, they may perform emergency remedial work on the property and then bill the landlord for costs incurred.

What are the benefits?

Legal Compliance

It is important that you act accordingly in order to make sure you are fully compliant. Modern installations are not exempt, each property must be checked to make sure it is safe and meets the current guidelines.

Improved Safety

Electrical faults are the cause of almost half of all accidental UK house fires. It is recommended every home should have a regular electrical safety check.

Insurance Friendly

More insurance companies are now requesting periodic inspections. Having a valid EICR can help strengthen an insurance claim for an electrical fire in the property.

Save Money

When potential problems are identified early, they can be rectified before creating any further damage. Leaving a problem in the system typically leads to a much higher bill further down the line!

Energy Efficiency

An inspection can highlight areas to help decrease the use of electricity. By upgrading appliances, wiring, lighting, heating or air conditioning you can improve energy efficiency.

How much does an EICR cost?

You can book your electrical safety check through MConstructor from just 89. Simply use our comparison platform to browse a nationwide network of fully qualified electrical engineers. The marketplace nature of the platform encourages our engineers to offer you their best rates possible. You can read customer reviews, check live availability, and book a time and date that suits you! To find the best, fixed prices in your area then just click here.