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Electrical safety is no joke!  Give yourself and your tenants a peace of mind by being proactive about the safety of electrical systems in your properties.

While a landlords electrical safety certificate is a key way in which you can ensure your properties are safe to live in, they are also important to maintaining your reputation if you yourself are a landlord.  

After all, EICRs show potential tenants and property buyers that you care about safety standards as well as the rule of law, which will help them to feel that they can do business with you with confidence.

What is an Electrical Safety Certificate?

A landlords electrical safety certificate, or EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) demonstrates that a property’s electric systems have been thoroughly inspected by a professional and are safe to use.  They are part of the UK’s plans to prevent fires and other hazardous situations in living spaces in recent years.  

What are the new changes in UK law regarding the Landlords Electrical Safety Certificate?

As of 1 July 2020, all landlords must obtain a new electrical safety certificate for a given rental property whenever there is a change of tenants.  The change in law aims to ensure UK standards for electrical safety, as outlined by the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’  (British Standard 7671), are properly enforced.

If you currently have tenants on a given property, there is still some time to plan ahead: you have until April 2021 to have the building examined for the purpose of obtaining the electrical safety certificate.

Is there a possibility my property is exempt from mandatory electrical safety checks?

While most properties will have to be examined for the purpose of issuing an electrical safety certificate, there are a few notable exceptions.  

If you are renting out a property with a longer term lease (seven years or longer), for example, an electrical certificate is not mandatory.  If you are unsure whether a EICR is mandatory for a property, be sure to speak with local authorities about the building and lease in question.

How do I get a Landlords Electrical Safety Certificate? 

To get an electrical safety certificate, you must have a certified professional electrician come and inspect the electrical systems of your property.  

While it is always a good idea to do a quick visual check of a property’s electrical systems on your own, note that you yourself are not qualified to do an official inspection unless you yourself have the proper qualifications as laid out with the most recent update to the Electrotechnical Assessment Specification).

During the inspection necessary for the EICR, an electrician will do the following:

  • Make note of any potential safety hazards and risks related to a building’s electrical systems
  • Inspect all electrical outlets, cords, and appliances to ensure all are running as expected
  • Check the building’s fire alarms, if there are any
  • Ensure that the property unit’s fuse box is working as needed.

When done with the inspection, the electrician will issue an electrical certificate given that the electrical systems are up to par with UK safety standards.

If there is some kind of problem with the electrical systems in the building, the electrician will instead issue recommendations as to how your electrical systems can be brought up to standard.  It is your legal responsibility to follow such recommendations, which may include moving or buying new electrical outlets, replacing the property’s fuse box, or even replacing the electrical systems in place.  This may lead to unexpected costs, so be prepared!

How much does an EICR cost?

In general, one can expect to pay £120-150  for the electrical safety certificate.  This price depends on the size of the place inspected and the time needed to inspect its electrical systems properly.  As a result, EICRs for buildings with older electrical systems may cost more, simply because it may take the electrician a longer amount of time to do the necessary inspections properly.

How often do I need to obtain a Landlords Electrical Safety Certificate?

An inspection for a new electrical safety certificate should take place once every five years.  If the property in question is older or has older electrical systems, however, it may be recommended to do the required checks more often to ensure safety for you and your tenants.  

For this reason, it is important to follow the personalized recommendations given by the electrician who has checked the electrical system of your home.

Arrange to get an EICR today!

While the process of obtaining an EICR may sound tedious at first, being proactive about the electrical systems in the properties you rent out can prevent future issues.  Working with certified electricians, furthermore, will help you feel confident that you are providing the best living standards possible to tenants or potential home buyers.

Why hesitate? Make a plan to get an inspection done today, and you’ll have an EICR in hand before you know it.