Electrical safety check? Landlord safety certificate? EICR? What's the difference?
Updated: Apr 21, 2020
In this blog, we'll have a look at the difference between an electrical safety check, landlord safety certificate and an EICR.
In England, awareness is greatly increasing of the need for an electrical check when buying, selling and leasing out a property. We are often asked by customers who are confused about the difference between these.
The simple answer is that all of the above are the same thing; an EICR. An EICR is short for ‘Electrical Installation Condition Report'. This is a full test and inspection of your property by a skilled, competent electrician. You can think of it as similar to a house survey, but focused on the condition of the electrical installation only.
You may be recommended to have an EICR for the following reasons:
When buying or selling a property.
If you have a number of electrical faults, an EICR may be conducted to gain better knowledge on the condition of the installation.
If you are upgrading your consumer unit, an EICR may be needed before installation.
If you are a property owner, it’s recommended that you have an EICR every 10 years to ensure electrical safety.
If you’re a landlord in England, the Government has announced that it will become mandatory for all private domestic rental properties to have an EICR every 5 years.
Why do I need an EICR?
In a word; safety. Properties are expensive assets. The people that live in them can’t be replaced. Electrical faults are one of the main causes of domestic fire in the UK. Additionally, electric shocks can be deadly. Having an EICR will help to gain an insight into the electrical installation.
What happens during an EICR?
Our qualified electricians will conduct an inspection and perform a variety of tests on the electric installation. That’s an in depth look at everything from wiring, sockets, lighting and the consumer unit (or fuse box). How long this takes will depend on several factors, including the size of the property. The electrician won’t make changes to the wiring and there will be no clear up required afterwards. The electrical source will be switched off for the most part of the appointment, so we ask all clients to keep this in mind when booking.
Do I need to choose carefully who I hire to do an EICR?
Yes! We have heard of cowboy tradesmen doing EICR’s in 30 minutes for a cheap price. This would be like booking a car for a service and the mechanic only updates the log book. We conduct professional EICR’s that take a number of hours depending on the size of your property. This is a thorough procedure using specialist test equipment.
What are the EICR results?
Your report will be broken down into sections. The overall report will be marked as ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’. You will be given a list of observations in the event of an unsatisfactory result. You could still be given observations in the event of a ‘satisfactory’ EICR.
Can my property fail an EICR?
The report will normally be sent to you within 72 hours of your completed booking. In the event that your report states ‘unsatisfactory’, we can recommend a number of options to obtain a ‘satisfactory’ report. If you decide to take action, a new report may be issued. You will need to accompany the ordered works along with the original EICR to show you have reacted to the report and followed procedure (this is vital when submitting this as part of a sale, for insurance purposes or to demonstrate due diligence as a landlord).
Why does the price of an EICR differ?
If you have a 5-bedroom house, you will have considerably more wiring, outlets and circuits installed when compared to a 1-bedroom flat. The amount of work it takes to complete an EICR will depend on the number of circuits, age and condition of the current electrical installation.
If I have an ‘unsatisfactory’ EICR and book remedial works, do I have to pay for another EICR to show this?
If you have booked remedial works to bring your report to ‘satisfactory’, you can accompany your completed works alongside the ‘unsatisfactory’ report to show you are compliant with safety regulations. If you have booked your remedial works months after the ‘unsatisfactory’ EICR, an electrician will likely not issue a ‘satisfactory’ report overall without conducting a new EICR as other damage/faults may have arisen within this time period. However, in certain circumstances, we may issue an overall satisfactory EICR if works are booked within 28 days of the initial EICR, so long as the electrician may conduct a visual inspection of the property whilst doing remedial works to allow this.
Do I get a certificate at the end?
As an EICR is a report, you will not be issued with a certificate as such. You will however have a report that gives an in depth insight into the electrical installation at the property.
Anything else to consider?
If you are a landlord and supply a property with portable appliances such as lamps, kettles, TV, toaster or other portable electric appliances, you must be able to prove that they are maintained in a safe condition. We can conduct Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) at your property to ensure you are compliant as a landlord.