House fires are more common than you think, and are often caused by the electric systems within one’s own property. If you are a landlord, it’s therefore important to be mindful of the safety hazards that come with electricity, and to be proactive for yourself and for tenants who call your properties home.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report, or EICR, which is about ensuring the safe upkeep and smooth functioning of a property’s electric systems, is an important way of fostering a good relationship with potential tenants and home-buyers up-front. It’s also a must when it comes to fire safety and prevention in the UK.
What is an EICR?
An EICR is a safety certificate that denotes a thorough inspection of a property’s electric systems has been completed, and that they are safe to use.
While such electrical safety certificates were once recommended, they are now required in the United Kingdom. As of 1 July 2020, an EICR must be obtained every time there is a change of tenants. If your property already has tenants, take note and plan ahead: you must obtain a certificate for the building by April 2021, regardless of whether there is a change of tenants.
It is recommended that you get an EICR once every five years, or more often if a building has older electric systems. After your home is inspected, be sure to follow through if your electrician believes your property should be inspected more often.
In general, it is best to be cautious if you are a landlord: if a problem with your property’s electric systems leads to the damage of a tenant’s goods or risks to their health or safety, you may be considered negligent and could face legal and financial repercussions.
Finally, it is important to understand that electrical safety certificates are a legal requirement in the UK, and others can expect that you have such certificates available if you are a landlord. If a tenant, prospective tenant, or local authority requests a copy of the report, you must comply with their request within twenty-eight days.
How do I obtain an EICR?
To get an electrical safety certificate, you will need a certified, experienced electrician to carry out an inspection for you. After the inspection has been completed, the electrician will issue the certificate if they believe the property’s electric systems are up to national safety standards.
The inspection necessary for the certificate is thorough, as the electrician will be going through the entire property to best understand how well its electric systems are working.
During the inspection, an electrician will conduct the following procedures:
- Check the property’s fuse box and fire alarms, if applicable.
- Determine and take note of any potential electrical safety hazards.
- Ensure that all cords, electrical outlets, appliances, etc. are working and safe to use.
After the inspection, the electrician will determine whether the property’s electrical systems are up to par with UK law. Assuming all goes well, the document will soon be issued without further action needed on your end.
If the electrician says that there is something wrong, however, it is your legal responsibility to follow the electrician’s recommendations to improve the conditions of the property’s electrical systems. This may lead to additional expenses on your end.
How much does a report typically cost?
The cost of an electrical installation condition report is dependent on the property. In general, a larger or older property will mean a more thorough check, resulting in a higher price.
Overall, price estimates for the eicr range from £120-150. Such an estimate does not include any additional expenses that may be necessary if your electrician recommends you improve your property’s electric systems, so plan ahead.
It’s important that your tenants and home buyers feel safe at home. It’s also important as a landlord that you are providing your clientele with the best services possible.
Ensure their trust, confidence, and comfort by getting an appointment with a qualified electrician for a safety certificate today!