Why is a Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate so Important?
Photo from Unsplash
As a landlord, there are few things so important as making sure your tenants and property are safe and risk-free, especially from electrical fires. When you’re conducting your property checks, electrical safety should be right at the top of your priority list.
A landlord’s safety check, taking the form of a EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report, also known as a ‘Landlord Safety Test’ or sometimes a ‘Homebuyer’s Test), is the best way to ensure that your property, and tenants are safe and give you peace of mind.
On average in the UK there are 11 domestic electrical fires every day and recent reports suggest that there are around 19,300 accidental fires with an electrical cause every year. Domestic fires like these cause not only costly property loss and damage but are also responsible for around 26 deaths and 718 injuries each year. Electrical fires can be started through many reasons, whether that is faulty or incorrect wiring, overloaded sockets or untested electrical appliances.
One way in which the government is aiming to reduce risks for tenants and landlords, and ensure all privately rented properties meet safety standards, is by introducing strict guidelines and safety measures to which all private landlords need to conform.
What Are Current Government Regulations for Electrical Safety for Landlords?
You may already know about the change in government legislation which came into effect on 1st June 2020, making it a legal requirement for landlords to ensure all electrical installations in privately rented premises were inspected and certified by a qualified electrician at the start of the next new tenancy.
This new legislation was only the start, however. From 1st April 2021, it has been a legal requirement for all private landlords to provide an up to date electrical safety certificate to all existing tenants, as well as new tenants. You must arrange and complete a landlord’s electrical safety inspection by a qualified electrician and obtain an EICR (Electrical Inspection Condition Report) for all properties you rent out.
To maintain compliance with government guidelines (and avoid some hefty fines) you will need to complete a new EICR after 5 years, and have a visual inspection carried out at the beginning of any new tenancy within the 5-year period. You should also make sure you keep the paperwork available for inspection by local authorities or tenants when requested.
The good news is that an EICR is quick, easy and straightforward to arrange! Your EICR will identify any damage, defects or deterioration that might indicate potential problems or dangers that might be lurking undetected and as a crucial part of your responsibility as a landlord towards your tenants, the sooner you get yours completed, the better.
Keep your tenants safe, protect your property and adhere to government guidelines by getting a regular electrical safety check by a qualified electrician.
Other Important Considerations for Landlord Electrical Safety
As well as having regular inspections from a competent and qualified professional, there are a few other things you need to comply with to ensure you’re meeting your obligations as a landlord. Local authorities now have the power to impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for breaches of the regulations. You must:
Ensure all national standards for electrical safety are met, including all electrical installations and wiring (the full guidelines are available on gov.uk)
Supply a copy of the electrical safety report to your existing tenants within 28 days of your test
Supply a copy of this report to any new tenants before occupancy, or to any prospective tenants
If your report reveals any problems, make sure that you complete any remedial work or further investigations within 28 days and provide written confirmation that the works have been completed to your tenant and local authority (if requested) within 28 days.
- Retain all paperwork relating to the inspection to supply for future inspections.
What Will a Landlord EICR Include and How Can it Protect My Rental Property?
As well as ensuring that all electrical installations in your home are safe, such as electrical sockets and light fixtures, your EICR can also bring a number of other benefits to you as a landlord.
While the safety of your tenants is paramount, by making sure that all your electrics are safe you are also protecting your property and investment from damage caused by fire, short circuiting and other electrical incidents. Dodgy, or dangerous, electrics put your house at risk from costly and potential loss of income if extensive repairs are required, or if legal action is brought against you due to negligence.
By having a full landlord electrical safety check done regularly you are not only adhering to government regulations but also making sure that you are preventing bigger problems that might appear later down the line.
A landlord electrical safety check will include thorough visual investigations and professional tests of your electrical wiring, appliances, connections, sockets, plugs and fuse boxes to ensure that all your electrical installations are in proper working order and that they meet current safety standards.
Your electrical safety report will let you know if there are any immediate problems to address, any potential issues that should be fixed in the 28-day grace period and any electrics that are non-compliant with regulations and need to be replaced or repaired.
With all these thorough checks you can be assured that your property is safe and fit for purpose, and that you haven’t got any unidentified dangers lurking that could be a risk to life, and your investment.
What Issues Can A Landlord Electrical Safety Report (or EICR) Indicate?
When carried out by a qualified electrician, a landlord electrical safety check will cover all the main elements that could become an electrical hazard or present a risk of electrical fire.
When carrying out your EICR, your electrician will look out for:
Any inadequate electrical earthing or bonding as well as any faulty historical electrical work
Your electrician will check all the fixed wiring circuits, lighting circuits and socket circuits
Fuse boxes and consumer units
Sockets, switches, isolators, lights and down lights
Detect any faults that could cause electric shocks or fire hazards
Any damage or deterioration to wiring, sockets or other components
The electrician can then make any immediate hazards safe before they leave your property, as well as alerting you to any urgent issues that need attention.
Speak to HEXO Electrical Testing Today for Your Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate
While we highly recommend performing a routine inspection of your electrical installations at least once a year just to check everything is in order, for a thorough and legal inspection it is essential you book your 5-year domestic electrical safety check with a qualified HEXO electrical inspector.
Not only will this guarantee a proper, professional electrical safety check to ensure you are within government regulations but you’ll also give yourself peace of mind that your property is safe, well-maintained and there are no hidden electrical problems waiting to develop.One of our electrical inspectors will attend and carry out the EICR visit which highlights any damage, defects, or non-compliances with the sockets/switches, wiring, and consumer units.
We will then provide an itemised quotation for any remedial works, and once you instruct us one of our experienced engineers will visit and carry out the repairs to make the property compliant.
To make things even easier, your landlord electrical safety certificate inspection can be arranged at a time to suit you and your tenants.