Electrical certificate | what is it and why do I need one in 2023?

Electrical certificate, at the beginning of July 1, 2023, new regulations introducing the new standards for electrical safety as well as legal requirements for the provision of compliance documentation within the private rental sector entered into force. That means that all tenants who reside in England and Wales must assign a qualified individual to conduct an EICR inspection of their rental properties every five years.  Additionally, from 1 April 2021, every tenant must have an original copy of their valid EICR, irrespective as to whether their tenure started prior to the date that regulations come into force, electrical certificate.

We’ve put together this information on EICR certificates as well as the latest regulatory changes that will help you ensure you’re complying to your legal obligations.

What is an EICR?

The report is prepared through an extensive evaluation conducted by a licensed electrician. The electrician will carry out an inspection visually and carry out certain tests on the installations to ensure that everything is operating properly and in compliance to the minimum requirements of regulatory standards. If the electrician finds any potential hazards they will highlight this in the report, along with the proper recommendation code and notify the landlord about any needed repairs. It will indicate the date when an inspection will be scheduled for the following day.

It is important to know the fact that an EICR inspection is not an assessment of PAT for any mobile appliances (anything that is movable and not plugged) on the property. If you provide appliances, e.g. white goods, to your house, then you have a legally-enforceable requirement that they are secure to be used. However, unless they are specifically requested in the context of a local authority license There is no obligation to take a PAT exam or provide any documents to tenants. It is nevertheless a good to test appliances frequently to ensure your tenants are protected. Landlords may also be sued to compensate for injuries or loss to property caused by defective appliances.

How do we know the rules are changing? And what are the differences?

Landlords have always been legally responsible to ensure that their home is secure prior to and during any tenancy. They could be found guilty of criminal negligence in the event that a tenant is injured because of faulty electrical installations. There hasn’t been any lawful requirement that landlords complete periodic electrical inspections or provide any documents to the people who live within their premises, except when they are renting an apartment in multiple occupancy (HMO).

The new regulations that take effect from July 2020 require any landlord renting private rented properties in England to conduct an inspection every 5 years, and make sure that tenants receive an original copy of the inspection certificate. To prove compliance, landlords must follow the following:

Schedule an inspection with a licensed assessor (an electrician) and then obtain a certificate with the details of the inspection, as well as the date for the next inspection required. This should be done before the beginning for any new contract (including renewals as well as periodic tenancies that are statutory and created after the expiration of a fixed-term) that begins after July 1st and until 1st April 2021 in case of existing tenancies.

Give the new occupants copies of the EICR prior to their move into the home.

If a report needs to be changed, you must provide an original copy to all those who were occupying the premises within 28 days after the inspection.

Submit a valid form of identification with the authority in 7 days when the request for a copy is made or you could be subject to penalties.

Send an EICR out to tenants within 28 days of renting in the event that they request one in writing.

Provide an up-to-date information to any potential occupant (e.g. an individual who is offering to purchase the house) after 28 days of when the request is made.

What if I had a valid document prior to July 1st, 2020?

In response to an appeal to clarify the issue from Residential Landlords’ Association, the government has confirmed that current reports are legal under new law if they’re under 5 years old.

Home Made Head of Tenancy Operations Rachel Harris advises:

If you’ve already gotten an acceptable Electrical Installation Condition Report which is less than five years old, you must examine the findings of the electrician in the report and take note of the ways in which the condition of your home may have improved since the previous inspection. If there’s been a significant changes (such as major building work or a lot of wear and tear over the lease) then it’s recommended to have another inspection completed. The electrical system can become damaged because of the wear and tear of use, as well as environmental elements. A new EICR can ensure safety for the occupiers and peace of peace of. If there aren’t any significant changes, the report will be valid until the date of the next inspection stipulated.’

What happens if my home does not pass the EICR inspection?

The regulations state that any violation of safety regulations discovered by the electrician who is in charge of the inspection is to be further investigated or corrected by a trained professional within 28 calendar days or earlier when the report recommends compliance in a shorter timeframe. When the required works have been carried out, landlords is required to:

Get written confirmation from a certified person who has confirmed that the work was completed and that safety standards for electrical installations were met or additional investigation or remedial work is needed.

Give a written acknowledgement and a copy of the original report, which requires investigation or remedial work to every homeowner within 28 days after the completion on the task.

Send the same letter of confirmation as well as a copy of the original report to your local housing authority within the period of 28 days from when the work is completed.

If the results of any investigation results in the need for further investigation or remedial work to be completed, the procedure must be repeated until the electrical safety standards are met.

What type of enforcement action might I be subject to for any breach?

It is the local authorities that are accountable for the enforcement of regulations and has various options to protect privately rented homes.

In the first instance should the local authority visit the property in order to look into the possibility of a breach and determines urgent remedial needs, they have to serve notice on the landlord outlining the necessary tasks. The landlord is then given 28 days to schedule the work to be done. If the landlord wants to contest the remedial notice, they have to make an appeal to local authorities within the 21-day period from receiving the notice. The requirement to carry out the task is suspended until the local authority is able to respond to the requests and must do so within 7 days.

When the authority is convinced at the expiration time (if an remedial warning hasn’t been removed) that the tenant is violation of their obligations The local authority may inspect the property and complete the remedial work, with the consent by the tenants. Local authorities will recover the costs of the remedial work on behalf of the owner.

If an authority local to the location is convinced they are in violation of regulations and remedial action is needed in a hurry they may undertake immediate emergency remedial works with the consent of the tenants. They can also bill the landlord for any costs that are incurred.

The local authority is also able to impose civil penalties as high as PS30,000 per violation of the electrical safety regulations, electrical certificate.

How can we assist you?

Home Made Home made, we can help landlords by arranging for an experienced person to conduct the EICR inspection, test and testing on their property. We are also able to discuss the details of these requirements further should you have questions.

To get a thorough outline regarding your obligations under law as a tenant, take a look at our checklist.

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