When Do I Need A Landlord Electrical Report?

A common question asked by many in the private rental sector is: When Do I Need A Landlord Electrical Report?

A landlord electrical report, more correctly known as an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is an important document relating to the safety of the electrics within your rental property.

However there is a lot of confusion about when one is needed, and how often they need to be “redone”

So if you have been wondering: When do I need a Landlord Electrical Report? read our guide to see the full answer

What Exactly Is A Landlord Electrical Report?

A landlord electrical report is the document provided to you once a thorough inspection & test has been completed on your rental property.

The term “landlord electrical report” is actually a slang term for what is more correctly known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (or EICR for short).

This is a set of detailed and thorough visual inspections and also a full electrical test of the circuits.

The inspection covers items such as:
  • Main fuseboard/consumer unit
  • Electric Meter and “Service Head”
  • Sockets/light switches
  • Light fittings
  • Outdoor sockets/power in garages (if applicable)
  • Earthing & Bonding
The test is then completed using sensitive, calibrated test equipment. This includes tests of the earthing, integrity of cables and whether any items like RCDs trip within specified times.

How Long Does A Landlord Electrical Report Last?

The landlord electrical report has a box for a recommendation to next test the installation.

Much in the same way that an MOT on a car expires every year, and your landlord gas safety tests expire yearly, there is an “expiration date” on a landlord electrical report.

However, if you have been worrying “When Do I Need A Landlord Electrical Report?” you might be slightly relieved to discover that this is generally accepted to be 5 years for electrical reports.

I say “generally accepted” as there are some cases where the electrical inspector would give a lower recommended date to the next test.

This is generally reserved for situations where an installation may be in a poor condition, however has borderline passed. Whilst this would not really apply to regulatory changes, it does apply to things like deterioration of cables.

If the installation has really old cable that has only just passed the test, it may be wise to test it more frequently than the usual 5 years in order to ascertain that it has not deteriorated at all.

The upcoming changes to landlord electrical regulations are going to be stipulating times when a report needs completing. This will be 5 years maximum, however the above “shorter retest times” issue will still apply.

So if you have been asking/searching “When Do I Need A Landlord Electrical Report?” and finding conflicting information, this is generally due to the to lack of awareness by some giving online advice.

So When Do I Need A Landlord Electrical Report?

Well, the latest round of landlord electrical regulations due to be introduced shortly will be changing this soon.

Currently, there is no “enshrined in law” requirement to have a landlord electrical report in order to let a property.

Certain insurers & mortgage lenders however, have requirements that you have to possess a valid landlord electrical report in order to use their particular service.

We have also seen a rise in the number of estate and letting agents who are making it a requirement that you have a valid report before they will advertise your property.

In todays “where there is blame, there is a claim” culture, these businesses are seeking to ensure that the electrics within your property are safe for use.

Whilst the electrics in your rental property might seem OK, or have worked fine for some time, it is impossible to tell if it is actually safe without having completed a report.

I don’t just mean that ‘speaking to the landlord’, even as electricians, it is impossible to verify the safety by visual inspection alone.

Regulations Which Apply To Landlord Electrical Reports

As it currently stands, the main regulations which really govern the need to have an EICR completed on your rental property would fall under xxxxxxx

This, whilst not explicitly requiring electrical testing, does place a duty of care on the landlord to provide a “safe electrical installation” within a rental property.

As it is not possible to declare the safety of the electrics in a property without having done the test, responsible landlords have come to realise that a landlord electrical report is really the only answer to this situation.

This takes responsibility away from the landlord as they have employed the services of a professional to draw up a report on the condition of the system.

Obviously if the report finds defects, these will need resolving in order to meet the need to supply a “safe electrical installation”.

However if no remedial works are necessary, this report proves that a landlord has done their best to ensure that the electrics in their rental property are of a safe standard.

Again, thinking back to the fact we now live in a “compensation culture” it can be wise to go above and beyond the minimums required in order to provide protection to yourself against possible legal action should an electrical accident ever occur.

Just as a precautionary tale, there have been a number of prosecutions of landlords after electrical accidents (which would be impossible to tell the faults without having tested). These have included 2 fatalities.

New 2019 Landlord Electrical Report Regulations

Some new legislation is in the process of being introduced which will actually place legal requirements on landlords having electrical reports completed.

It has currently being delay due to the whole Brexit saga, however when Parliamentary time allows, this will be coming into law very soon.

Probably unlikely to actually take affect until after 2019 now, however it will be phased in over the next few years (or at least that is the expectation from the industry)

Starting firstly with new tenancies, the scheme will then be rolled out to cover existing tenancies also. This will place concrete requirements on private rental sector landlords to have 5 yearly electrical checks completed.

Whilst we do not have any firm dates or ideas for implementation of the scheme, we can reasonably expect the rollout to be similar to the one in Scotland (where “mandatory EICRs”) have been in force for the last few years.

Driving safety standards up in the Private Rental Sector is long overdue. There has been relatively little electrical regulation specifically affecting landlords up until this time.

We have personally seen a number of really serious (and very dangerous) electrical faults which have been lingering unnoticed in tenants homes.

The respective landlords should count themselves lucky these issues were found before an accident occurred.

All too often “dodgy electrics” do go unnoticed due to the fact that sockets and lights often still work. Just because it “works” doesn’t mean it is safe

If you want to keep up with the very latest surrounding the upcoming changes to regulations, please check our Guide to the 2019 Landlord Electrical Regulations

And if you have any further questions like “when do I need a landlord electrical report?” then let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Kind regards

James – ElectricBlu Contractors

Countdown To 2020: It's Quite Clear These Regulations Aren't Going To Get Introduced During 2019 due to Time Constraints. Will It Be A Case Of 'Better Late Than Never' For The Private Rental Sector...?

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