What is an EICR?
The definition of an EICR An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is a formal document produced by an electrician or electrical engineer after a comprehensive assessment of electrical systems within any commercial, domestic or industrial property. It is used to ensure that all electrical installations and systems within the property are correctly installed, safe and well-maintained. An EICR typically assesses the competency of your electrics by three different categories:
- C1 (danger exists, needs immediate attention);
- C2 (potential danger, needs urgent attention);
- C3 (no danger, but improvements recommended).
It is now a legal requirement in the Private Rented Sector for landlords to make sure that all private rental properties have a valid EICR every 5 years.
Table of Contents
Who needs an EICR?
EICRs are recommended for all residential and commercial landlords, as well as for those who are selling their house and need to prove that their property is compliant with BS7671. When purchasing a property, it’s also a good idea to have an EICR done to check for any instances of faulty wiring. Others that should consider an EICR include, those who own a property and experience reoccurring electrical faults, homeowners with old rubber cables, and any occasion where a consumer unit (fuse box) is being changed, as well as tenants and employees of commercial businesses.
What’s the purpose of an EICR?
Ensure that all electrical installations are safe
An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is the most comprehensive way of ensuring that all electrical installations on a property are safe. An EICR is carried out by a qualified electrician and will check for any faults with the fuse board, switches or sockets that may cause a fire or electric shock. The report will also involve checking that any electrical products, cables and wires are compliant with required standards, and are not in any way faulty or malfunctioning. During an EICR inspection, the electrician will identify any instances where the property occupants may be more susceptible to shock, such as bathrooms and wet rooms etc. They’ll also advise on the best ways to reduce this risk to ensure that all electrical installations within the property are safe, compliant, and can also help to prevent costly repairs in the future.
Identify damage and wear and tear which may compromise the integrity of a property
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will help to identify damage and wear and tear, to give you the ultimate peace of mind. Step-by-step, an EICR involves the following:
A qualified and experienced testing engineer will carry out a thorough inspection of the property’s electrical installations. This includes checking for:
- Efficiency of earthing and bonding
- Compatibility of the switchgear and control gear
- Serviceability of the wiring system
- Any defect or deterioration on installations
- Functionality of all electrical fixtures including switches, socket-outlets, and wirings
The testing engineer will then provide you with a comprehensive report once the test has been completed. It will detail any damages, defects and other hazardous conditions found within the property that do not meet with current safety standards or might put people at risk.
An EICR report will detail specific fixtures that need to be repaired or replaced.
It is important to review the report to identify any recommended remedial works and have them done before tenants move in. This ensures that the property is electrically safe for tenants and staff and that you are covered under legislation.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to have an EICR repeated if any big changes to the property have taken place, e.g. high turnover of tenants, DIY work found, or flood damage. This will provide you and your tenants with peace of mind knowing that all electrics in the property are electrically safe to use.
Find instances of an electrical installation which do not meet wiring regulations
EICRs are important as they help to ensure the safety of those who use the property. Old, faulty or malfunctioning electrical installations can cause electric shocks and fires, causing injury and damage to occupants. Landlords in particular have a duty to ensure that their property is safe for tenants, and an EICR report is the most reliable way to do this.
Determine which electrical appliances are likely to cause shocks and fires
During an EICR the electrician will take a series of readings and measurements using specialised equipment, such as an insulation tester. Using an insulation tester allows the electrician to assess the current condition of the wiring and flag any faults or deterioration in the insulation. They’ll also look for any signs of damage, such as burn marks or discolouration, which could indicate or lead to the discovery of a fault.
Once the testing is complete, the electrician will then issue your report that outlines any safety issues discovered during the inspection. This report is used to identify appliances and circuits that are likely to cause electric shocks or start a fire. The risk of shock or fire is generally higher in circuits and appliances that are used for heavy loads, for example, those in the kitchen or bathroom. This includes; immersion heaters, electric cookers and showers. These can sometimes become overloaded, which causes electrical faults that lead to a fire hazard.
The report will also indicate any issues with the wiring, such as poor earthing, overloading, incorrect polarity or exposed wiring. The electrician may suggest remedial works to reduce the risk of an electric shock or fire, such as the installation of a residual current device (RCD). An EICR is important in helping to ensure the safety of a property by identifying and addressing any electrical issues that could potentially cause harm. Regular inspections and tests should be carried out to ensure that all appliances, wiring and circuits are safe to use.
Record the condition of electrical installations to be used in future inspections
The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is an important tool for helping to ensure the safety of electrical installations over time. NAPIT have created an example safety record for landlords.
Why does my property need an EICR?
1. An EICR ensures your duty of care
The purpose of an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is to ensure that any installations within a property are safe and reliable. It is a legal requirement for landlords and business owners to carry out an EICR test in order to fulfil their duty of care towards tenants, employees and customers. EICRs allow for necessary repairs to be made before any faults become dangerous. An EICR will also ensure that the property is compliant with relevant regulations such as The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. By having an up-to-date EICR, business owners and landlords can rest assured that they’re providing a safe/habitable environment backed by the necessary proof needed to protect them from legal action should it ever arise.
2. Is an EICR required by law?
Absolutely, an EICR is required by law in England, Scotland, and Wales to protect tenants and their possessions. As of April 2021, it is now mandatory for business owners and landlords to carry out an EICR test in their property or properties. Furthermore, in Scotland, landlords are required to present these reports to tenants as proof that their properties are safe to occupy.
3. Is an EICR required by insurance?
*Yes, an EICR is required by many insurance providers, as it is a way to show that the property is compliant with BS7671 and that all electrical installations in the property are safe and reliable. Additionally, many insurers require an EICR before providing cover, especially for businesses and properties where the public is involved. Having an EICR completed is a good way for sellers to prove the safety of their electrics when they are selling, even though they are not required by law.
The dangers of not having an EICR
Will the integrity of my property be compromised if I do not have an EICR?
Yes, the integrity of your property could be compromised if you do not have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) done.
It is a legal requirement for all landlords in the private rented sector to have an EICR carried out, and failure to comply with this could result in enforcement action being taken against you.
An EICR is the best way to ensure that the electrics in your property are safe to the necessary regulatory standards, which is the only way to ensure that your property is safe and habitable for tenants.
EICRs are also often required by your insurance to ensure you have the appropriate cover. Should the worst happen and someone within your property is injured due to an electrical shock or an electrical fire, the absence of an up-to-date EICR will mean that you could risk facing expensive legal action and repair costs.
Are there any fines to pay?
Yes, there are potential fines to pay for not having an EICR. Suppose a landlord fails to get a satisfactory electrical installation safety report for their property within the timescales outlined in the regulations or fails to undertake required remedial work within the necessary timeframe. In that case, the local housing authority may serve a remedial notice giving the landlord 28 days to take action. If the landlord fails to take action, the local housing authority can arrange for an authorised person to undertake the required remedial work, subject to agreement by the tenant, and recover the costs from the landlord. The local housing authority can also impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for breaches of electrical safety regulations.
Will my insurance be void?
Most of the time the case is, *Yes. Your home insurance may only be valid with an EICR, and without a valid EICR, you run the risk of invalidating your property insurance. Failing to address the issues with your property’s electrical system puts you at risk of charges of negligence if someone in the premises is injured or suffers damage to goods due to electrocution or electric fire.
Without an EICR, you cannot provide proof that the electrics in your property are safe and okay for use and your insurance provider may not cover any damages resulting from an electrical fault.
What is the difference between an EICR and an Electrical Installation Certificate?
The main difference between an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) and an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) is that the former is a formal document produced following an assessment of the electrical installation whilst the latter is used for the new installation of electrical wiring for certain types of works. Since April 2021, all landlords in the UK are required to have an EICR to help prove that their electrical system is safe. However, if no changes or additions have been made to the electrical system, a landlord may not require an EIC.
An EICR is carried out by an experienced qualified electrician or approved contractor and takes into account the age of the installation, the type of property, any environmental conditions and misuse or vandalism, as well as any change in the usage of the premises. It is required by law to obtain an EICR every five years if you own an HMO or are the landlord of a rental property in England or Scotland. Wales will be subject to this regulation as of December 2022.
On the other hand, an EIC is generally only required when an electrical installation is changed or added to. It is used to certify that the work has been carried out in a satisfactory manner and meets the required standards. The qualified electrician or approved contractor must fill it out in detail, including any work that needs to be carried out or improved in order for the installation to meet the standards. Once completed, the qualified electrician or approved contractor must sign and date the document to certify that the work has been carried out correctly.
What does an EICR inspection involve?
What’s Included in An EICR report?
An EICR report will include the following information:
- Details about the premises that were tested and who they were tested by
- Any limitations such as if only a portion of the installations were tested or if some circuits were not able to be turned off
- Whether the inspection was satisfactory or unsatisfactory (i.e. ‘pass’ or ‘fail’) in line with the 18th edition wiring regulations (BS 7671)
- A breakdown of all identified issues and their classification codes, which will be broken down by individual room or area
- An inspection schedule with the results of each test
- Advice on works that need to be done to bring any installations back into a safe condition.
How is an EICR carried out?
An EICR is carried out by a qualified electrician or approved contractor who is experienced in periodic inspection and testing. The electrician will conduct a thorough inspection of the electrical installation, including taking measurements and testing the components.
The process of carrying out an EICR consists of the following steps:
Step 1: Visual Inspection – The electrician will inspect the installation visually to determine the overall condition and safety of the installation.
Step 2: Insulation Resistance Test – This is a test to determine the integrity of the insulation of the electrical circuit.
Step 3: Earth Loop Impedance Test – This is a test to measure the current that could flow through a fault in the electrical system.
Step 4: Polarity Test – The polarity of the system is tested to ensure the live and neutral conductors are correctly wired.
Step 5: Functional Testing – The electrician will test the electrical equipment and appliances to ensure they are operating correctly.
Step 6: Producing the Report – After the tests and inspections, the electrician will produce a detailed report which will include any observations and recommendations.
Once the report has been produced, the customer can source competitive quotes for any works recommended.
How often should an EICR be done?
How long does an EICR last?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a report which assesses the overall condition of the electrical installation in a property. The report is valid for 5 years, or for a shorter time frame if the inspector deems it necessary.
If you are a residential landlord, you need to have an EICR carried out at least every five years, or when there is a change of tenant, whichever is sooner. Commercial landlords are recommended to have EICRs every 5 years.
If you own the house and are selling it, you do not need an EICR but you will need evidence that the property is compliant with BS7671 if you have had electrical work done since 2005. Having an EICR done is a good way to prove the safety of the electrics when selling, even though it is not required by law.
The testing intervals depend on the building and may need to be done more frequently in some cases. The electrical engineer carrying out the testing will specify how often the testing intervals are.
If you have already obtained a satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report that is less than five years old, you should review the electrician’s observations in the report and consider how the condition of your property might have changed since the last inspection. If there have been any major changes, it is wise to get another check done. If there are no major changes, then the report will remain valid until the next inspection date specified.
What happens after I receive my EICR?
Who do i need to give copies of my EICR report to?
- Provide a copy of the EICR to existing tenants within 28 days of the testing and inspection.
- Provide a copy of the EICR to prospective and new tenants before they occupy the premises.
- Provide a copy of the EICR to the local housing authority within seven days of receiving a written request from them.
- Provide a copy of the EICR to the electrician carrying out the next EICR inspection, so they have background information about the electrical system before starting their inspection.
How much does an EICR cost?
The cost of an EICR can vary depending on your location, the extent of testing, property type, as well as the age and size of the property
If you’re interested in finding out more about how EMAY Electrical can help you with your next EICR or you’re just generally on the lookout for an electrician in Leighton Buzzard – just give us a call!
*EMAY Electrical Services Ltd accepts no liability for acting or failing to act on any advice given.