Here in the UK, landlords have a legal obligation to ensure the properties they are renting out are safe for tenants to live in. This includes regularly reviewing and checking any of the appliances that they provide and ensuring that repairs are carried out promptly. The Electrical Installation Condition certificate is one of these legal requirements set in place by the UK Government and required to ensure tenancies meet the necessary legislations. In this guide, we’ll look into what they are and why they are so important.
What are EIC Certificates?
Also known as Electrical Installation Certificates, these safety certificates are provided to homeowners as confirmation that any new electrical installation complies with the relevant regulations. In the UK, this refers to the BK 7671 (IEE Wiring Regulation) – the national standard for electrical wiring in domestic, commercial, industrial and other buildings including special installations and locations including marinas. To gain an EIC certificate, the installation must undergo a series of in-depth electrical checks of all circuits to identify any deterioration, defects or damage. Once it has been completed, an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) will be issued as evidence.
EIC certificates are needed whenever:
- There is a newly installed installation
- A new single circuit or multiple circuits are added to an existing installation
- Where there is a chance of the mains distribution board
As of July 2020, all new tenancies will have to abide by The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. Whereas an EICR was only recommended in private tenancies beforehand, it has now become mandatory in a bid to protect private rental tenants.
Why Are They Required?
Following the new regulations, all landlords are required to provide a copy of the EICR to their tenants and their local authority, if requested. This regulation was introduced as part of the Government’s overall ambition to improve safety in all residential premises and within the private rented sector. It looks to regulate the industry, forcing landlords to do what most had already been doing for many years – ensuring their tenants were kept safe at all times.
What Happens During an EIC?
During the EIC testing process, a qualified electrical engineer will check:
- Overall build quality
- Performance of the electrical installation
- Safety of the electrical installation
They will perform a visual assessment to check for any damage or deterioration. This includes everything from cracks and signs of overheating through to issues that may cause potential accidents during use.
Once the visual check has been performed, they will disconnect the electrical installation from the main power supply. Some circuits will be put through dead testing to ensure all wires are properly connected.
And, the engineer will also perform live electrical testing to check for any faults in the system. This is one of the most important stages. It assesses whether the item will work safely under normal activity without the risk of accident to the user.
Once this has been completed, the electrical engineer will review the condition of the earthing and bonding to ensure it is sufficient. This includes checking for earth protection and will cover an examination of:
- Power outlets
- Light Fittings etc
How Long Does an EICR Last?
If the electrical installation ‘passes’ and is deemed safe after the testing process, it will be issued with an EICR. This is valid for 5 years and can be passed throughout any tenants that live in the property during those 5 years.
If the report comes back with an ‘unsatisfactory’ result, the landlord is legally required to undertake any repair or replacement work as quickly as possible. The legislation states that this must be completed within 28 days, or in the time frame specified in the report. There are 3 main codes for unsatisfactory results:
- C1 – Danger present with a risk of injury. Immediate remedial action is required.
- C3 – Potentially dangerous. Urgent remedial action is required.
- F1 – Further investigation is required.
In all of the cases above, you must enlist the support of a qualified and professional electrician to perform the repairs. Failure to comply with the new regulations can result in fines of up to £30,000. Issued by your local authority. Therefore, you must ensure these are at the top of your To-Do list when preparing a new property for renting.
How can MJH Electricals Help?
With over 11 years of experience in a vast array of electrical systems, the experienced team here at MJH Electricals are here to serve the needs of customers in the South West area. We are fully accredited by NIC EIC and provide highly professional and reliable engineers for every project. As well as specialising in the agricultural and industrial industries, we also provide domestic support to landlords. These include undertaking EIC checks and producing the relevant certification to ensure you stay compliant with the law.
Our electrical engineers are on hand to help approach any identified faults or issues with your electrical systems. With a focus on providing competitive rates to our customers and putting your specific needs first, we’ll help you fill your tenancies or keep existing customers satisfied.
To comply with UK law, you must have any electrical work carried out by an experienced, professional and qualified individual. We can offer these to you, all with the backing of our friendly family-run business and on-hand customer services team too. Over the years, we have worked in new builds and traditional homes alike, helping landlords install new technology and check that existing electrical systems are up to par. Now, with the new mandatory regulations, we remain here to help you at all times.
If you have any questions, would like to speak to a member of the MJH Electrical team or want further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on either 01278 322816 or via the enquiry page on our website.