New electrical safety checks for landlords: £30,000 fine ? What you need to know from now:

From the 1st of July 2020, all new tenancies are required to have an electrical safety check, by law.


It has been long coming that these checks are now enforced. We have been to many properties where electrical checks / installations have not been tested and inspected for 30+ year. Leaving most a potential or just immediate death trap for tenants. If you do not have this in place for new tenancies, you could face a fine of up to £30,000.


The legislation will also be changing again in April 2021, whereby all existing tenancies will also require electrical safety checks.


Fact:

Every year faulty electrics and appliances cause about 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in Britain. Electricity causes about 24,000 fires per year.


The new checks in place are vital for both tenants safety and landlords compliance.


The specific checks are, like most things produced from the government, are vague, however, the way we as electricians can provide the said installation is in a safe condition is to undertake an Electrical Installation Condition Report. The report is carried out on site, where by all incoming supplies and all individual circuits should be tested and inspected to prove the cabling and equipment are in a condition that is safe for continued use. The report is either issued via email / digitally, via a hard paper copy or both to the landlord / client dependent on how the contractor operates. We at LMG Electrical, to save on paper wastage and to be more green with the environment, as standard only issue this as a digital format, though if requested can produce a hard copy.


The Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR, should be taken extremely seriously by both the electrical contractor undertaking the report, and the landlord requesting one. Firstly, the electrician / electrical contractor undertaking the report, should be fully competent to do so, must be qualified to undertake EICR's, registered under the an approved body (NICEIC, Napit, Elesca) and have the experience needed to undertake an EICR.


Don't be fooled by people either claiming to be an electrician or contractors offering EICR's at <£60.00 or so, they either are not qualified to do so, or simply don't have the correct experience to know what is involved in carrying out this process. An EICR should take approximately half a day to undertake a full EICR on a standard 3 bedroom semi detached house (dependent on the number of circuits and other factors etc) this incorporates the testing and importantly (and also forgotten by a lot of contractors), the inspection of the installation.


This is then written up either on site, or away from site, and completed in full. If your property is larger it will obviously take longer and the cost will be subsequently higher.


What to watch out for:

Ok, so you need an EICR undertaking at your property, either as a buyer of a new property, landlord, commercial property tenant of owner. Some "electricians" or "electrical contractors" will charge a lot less than others, why is this ? Competence and what you pay for,

example;

Mr. Sparks down the road is charging £50 - £60 per EICR, (this is not feasible as a business). Mr. Lecy of Lecy Electrical Contractors registered as a competent person, are charging £150 per EICR, that sounds expensive for my 2 bedroom flat, but is it ?


You would, as its cheap, pay £10 for a full MOT on your car/vehicle, but would it sit well if all others charge £60 - £70 ? Do you think you'd get the same service, the same checks and the same quality of engineers doing the MOT ? More than likely you would search the extremely cheap MOT tester for reviews and for a qualified MOT test center number, or you should be doing this ! This is no different to electricians and electrical contractors. Fact is, charging these low amounts is not cost effective as a business, unless you're cheating the system and taking paying customers money and not providing the correct service.


Mr. Sparks is likely to stick labels on your installation to say they've tested the work, whilst not actually undertaking the EICR properly, minimal if any testing and certainly no inspection of the installation taking place.. They are not competent to do so and are not providing the full service you are paying for, rushing to the next one to do the same, or are banking on creating a report which will require a lot of work to be undertaken from remedial work, even if that work is not necessarily required, so they make the money back on the remedial work. That is, unfortunately, a fact.

Check:

- Are they even registered as a competent person to carry out the work ?

- If you're home, understandably you're not an electrician yourself, but don't be afraid to do some research and ask the electrician some questions (what does an RCD do ? What tests do you carry out ? Don't also be afraid to ask how long they've been qualified or how long they've been registered as a competent person)

- If you feel you may have been compromised by an inaccurate EICR or the process was rushed, you're more than welcome to send the reports to us for review. Should we feel it is required to be investigated, we can check this for you.


An EICR should be costing anything between £150.00 (absolute minimum) to £300.00+. Currently our EICR costs start from £130.00 unless offers are in place, so you would be saving money, and getting the job done correctly & thoroughly tested & inspected as it should always be done, and a great deal ! This is as an introductory offer for the PRS scheme and will be increased in the future.


Unfortunately and ultimately, because the market is very congested, and not all qualified electricians and contractors understand or can undertake EICR's properly and thoroughly (we're writing from a vast amount of experience from witnessed EICR's, electrical installation work etc from alternative registered contractors), it is a bit of a minefield still. Though your best bet is to search for a company near to where you live, who are registered. You can find this either on the individual scheme registers on their own websites (NICEIC, Napit, Elecsa etc) or through the competent persons register, just type your postcode in and a list of local contractors will appear.


So what is an EICR or safety check ?

You can find information on this on LMG Electrical's Testing page - or click here


Landlords also have a duty of care, where appliances are provided within the tenancy, (which include all portable and fixed appliances - yes, this is meant as electric ovens, electric showers, electric hobs etc etc as well as simply portable) are checked also, known as PAT Testing, though this is not currently a legal requirement, though that does not replace the need for a report.


Landlords also have a duty, once an EICR is carried out, to produce the report to the tenant directly.


We're not here to criticize our trade, we believe the trade has fallen victim to too many poor electricians making profit from unknowing customers, we're hear to help, serve and provide a trustworthy service to all of our clients & customers.


For any further information, please visit our testing page, give us a call on 07859 421574 or email us at info@lmgelectrical.co.uk



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