The New Electrical Safety Law For Landlords


Millions of people in the UK don’t own their properties – renting is an integral part of society. But some landlords fail to do their part when it comes to tenant safety, leading to serious incidents.

Here, the new EICR laws come into play. These regulations mandate that all private rented properties undergo an electrical safety inspection and test at least every five years.

What is an EICR?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a report created by an electrician to guarantee that a property’s electrical system is secure. This test is mandatory by law to protect people from electrical shock or fire hazards.

An EICR examines your property’s entire electrical system, such as wiring, fuse boards and plug sockets to detect any problems that need addressing. It also tests for damage or deterioration that may have occurred over time.

During an inspection, an electrician will check each circuit for signs of trouble such as cracks, breaks and signs of overheating. These are often the first indications of problems which must be addressed promptly.

Once the inspection is complete, an EICR will be generated and presented to the landlord or letting agent. This document contains a comprehensive list of any issues identified as well as recommendations for improvement based on these findings.

Landlords must always take the time to verify their property’s electrical installations are secure and up-to-date before allowing tenants to move in. Otherwise, they could face legal repercussions.

Landlords are legally required to conduct an Electrical Safety (England and Wales) Report on their properties every five years, and provide a copy of the report to any new tenants when they move in. This requirement stems from Government Electrical Safety (England and Wales) Regulations 2020.

Residential landlords or letting agencies must obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before renting their rental properties out to anyone. As of April 1st 2021, any tenant moving into a property must also receive a copy of this EICR report.

Industrial and commercial properties typically undergo an EICR every 1, 3 or 5 years, depending on the type of building and how it’s utilized.

If you are a Landlord and own a property in London, you should get an EICR done also known as EICR London by a registered local electrical safety certificate provider company.

An EICR requires both live and dead testing to assess the overall condition of your electrical system. This involves a visual inspection of all circuits within your residence or business, followed by a comprehensive electrical test on each one to detect any potential issues.

Tom Mark, the owner of Home Rewire Essex and a specialist in home electrical systems, highlights the importance of the new EICR legislation for rental properties. “The introduction of this law marks a significant step in ensuring the safety of electrical installations in rental accommodations,” Tom explains. “It not only protects tenants from potential electrical hazards but also establishes a clear standard of care that landlords must follow. By mandating regular inspections and the generation of an Electrical Installation Condition Report every five years, we are enhancing the safety and integrity of living environments. At Home Rewire Essex, we are committed to helping landlords navigate these regulations, ensuring compliance, and maintaining safe housing for tenants.”

How often should I have an EICR?

Prior to 2020, landlords were not legally required to obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). With this new regulation in place, all rental properties must now have an EICR.

Property owners have a unique opportunity to ensure their tenants’ homes remain secure and in excellent condition through this law. Not only will an EICR verify that electrics are functioning safely, it can also help prevent damage or injury in case of fire, flood or other disaster.

An EICR is a formal inspection report that documents the results of testing or inspections conducted on your electrical installations. It also highlights any issues which could pose risks to yourself or your tenants’ safety.

When considering whether an EICR should be issued, several factors need to be taken into account: the type of building, environmental conditions and even its intended use.

For commercial buildings, an EICR should be performed every five years; this also applies to residential properties.

When scheduling an EICR, make sure you hire a reliable and experienced electrician who can conduct the test correctly. They should possess extensive expertise in this area as well as an understanding of BS 7671 and Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1989.

After passing the test, your electrician should take pictures and notes of all areas they inspected. These images and notes form the basis of your Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), highlighting any problems that need addressing in order to guarantee your electrical installation is secure and in optimal condition.

Once the EICR is complete, it will be recorded in a report that can be kept for future reference. This serves to reassure both you and your insurance company that your electricals are secure for use.

Your EICR can also be beneficial to your local authority in case an accident occurs at your property. They can use this evidence to issue a fine or send out a remediation notice for any necessary work that needs to be done to make the area safer.

What should I expect from an EICR?

An EICR is a test conducted by an experienced electrician that confirms the safety of both a building’s electrical installation and any equipment inside it.

This procedure involves disconnecting the electrical installation from its mains power source, which allows technicians to identify any wires that are inadequately connected and conduct dead-and-live electrical testing.

During our inspection, we’ll also assess any damage or potential problems that could cause issues in the future. Specifically, we’re looking for signs of component damage or wear-and-tear.

Once we have conducted the inspection, we will generate a report and inform you of the outcome. This report outlines any issues that need rectifying and what steps can be taken. This document should be kept on file for future reference when getting property re-inspected or when government inspectors conduct checks at your premises.

We urge landlords to have an EICR completed as often as possible in order to guarantee their properties are secure for tenants and anyone inside them. Not only will this save them money in the long run, but it also guarantees they are adhering to current law and regulations.

With an EICR, we will not only inspect all electrical points in your home but also conduct a visual inspection on every piece of electrical equipment – including sockets, switches and the consumer unit.

Expect to hear about any remedial work required within 28 days of the initial inspection (or sooner if specified in the report). Your EICR report will provide all pertinent details on what needs to be done.

In the meantime, it’s recommended that you complete repairs as quickly as possible and book an EICR test before renting your property to a tenant. Doing this will guarantee that you meet all legal obligations and protect tenants from injury caused by unsafe electrics in their home.

How can I keep my tenants safe?

Landlords must be aware of a number of laws regarding their rental property. One of the most essential is health and safety; there are ways you can keep your tenants safe from electrical fires and other hazards in their home.

Landlords now must comply with the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), an important safety regulation. Doing so could save you from expensive rewiring down the line and protect your tenants from harm as well.

An EICR is an effective way to identify any problems in your property that could be hazardous for tenants and help you avoid costly fines from the local council. It is recommended that an inspection be done regularly, with a copy of the report available for your tenants.

Be aware that if your tenant fails to arrange an EICR, then you could be breaking the law and face up to £30,000 (the minimum legal penalty for not complying is £2500). Not only could this cost you more in lost rental income but it could also damage your reputation in the long run.