Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR): what you need to know
Otherwise known as landlord electrical certificate, EICR report, Periodic Inspection, or home condition reports. Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR’s) are important for any homeowner, landlord or tenant, to ensure the safety and condition of the electrical wiring in the property.
If you’re not sure what an EICR includes, what an EICR costs, why you need an EICR or what additional wiring checks you can do, then take a read through our complete guide to EICRs.
What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report?
Electrical installations and wiring can deteriorate over time or show signs of age, but you would never notice it until it was too late. EICRs will check the overall condition of the electrical installation in the property, and it will help pick up on any faults or electrical damages, and also any wiring that doesn’t meet the current regulations.
It’s important to note that periodic inspection reporting is the process and the document you receive at the end is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
Currently, there is no law that requires you to have an EICR carried out on your property, although current BS7671 Wiring Regulations (Regulation 135.1) state that you should keep your electrics in good working order and ensure they are safe.
It is highly recommended you have an EICR periodic inspection carried out every 10 years and for rental properties every 5 years or at the change of tenancy.
What does a Periodic Inspection include?
When a registered electrician carries out a periodic inspection report, the procedure is done case by case, site by site. For example, a periodic inspection on a commercial property will be very different from a domestic dwelling.
For domestic properties, the process would start with an initial discussion with the client, covering the extent to be tested (such as how many circuits), and any limitations (such as not checking cables in walls or floors, which would require you cut out plaster, etc). Generally, electricians should carry out standard initial verification testing on everything they can gain access to.
For commercial properties, there may be operational limitations that the contractor would have to discuss with the customers first, such as shutting down any servers or phone lines that would impact a business. Contractors may agree with the client a sampling rate, which would detail what percentage of sockets they would test to begin with, and then should any faults occur with the sample size, they may choose to increase the sample size (for example, from 25% to 50%) to check for further faults.
Once a full range of testing has been completed for the periodic inspection, you will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report. This is not a certificate, simply a report that summarises the safety of the electrical installation.
The report is just factual based and will highlight anything that breaches regulations, as well as items such as faulty wiring and outdated protective devices. Your report may have photos included, detailing anything of concern too.
On the report, the electrician will specify the maximum length of years that you should wait until your next periodic inspection. The maximum length of time between periodic inspections in domestic dwelling is 10 years, however, your electrician may state 7 years, due to age of wiring, for example.
You should also receive a covering letter for the report, which will detail any recommendations for remedial work. If there is urgent work that needs carrying out, the electrician will state so in your covering letter and then strongly advise immediate action.
How much does an EICR cost?
The average cost for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is £200-£250. Costs do vary depending on your location, the extent of testing, and the age and size of the property.
|Property Type||Average cost per EICR|
|One bed flat||£120|
|Two bed flat||£120-£150|
|Three bed flat||£180-£210|
|One to two bed house||£150-£180|
|Three to four bed house||£200-£250|
|Five bed house or larger||£300+|
Please note: An EICR report must be carried out by a qualified Electrician, this is to ensure they are competent to understand the required periodic codes for an EICR.
The reason to have an EICR
For most homeowners, we will live with any reoccurring faults in our wiring. If a switch doesn’t work, we won’t rush to fix it and if an outside light doesn’t work, we won’t hurry to get someone in to take a look at it, which means that faults can build up over time, or something more sinister could be lurking without you realising.
Electrical faults are responsible for half of all UK house fires, and just like you would get your boiler serviced, it’s important that you have your electrical wiring serviced regularly to ensure you, your family or employees are safe. The benefits of an EICR outweigh the cost, as you can then say that the electrics in your property are safe and okay for use.
It’s important that you read the fine print of your home insurance, as it may only be valid with an EICR (like a Gas Safe certificate), and without a valid EICR, you could invalidate your home insurance.
An EICR would also come in handy if you had a fire in the property – for example, if an EICR detailed items that would need fixing, but the homeowner didn’t follow up with the remedial work and then a fire started because of the works mentioned, it’s a possibility that your house insurance wouldn’t pay out for the damage.
It’s imperative for landlords to cover themselves by having an EICR carried out on their property every 5 years or at the change of a tenancy, because landlords are required to ensure their property is safe.
Existing Regulations to be aware of
Current regulations state under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 that properties should have a periodic inspection carried out every 5 years, by a competent electrician.
In December 2015, Scotland became the first country in the UK to make it law, that all landlords must have a periodic inspection and EICR completed on their rental property. They must ensure that the electrical installation is in a safe, working condition before the start of the tenancy, under sections 13 (4A) and 19B(4) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
Additional checks you can do
It’s not just an electrician that can carry out checks on your home; you can also carry out some visual checks of your own prior to a periodic inspection and between inspections too.
- Carry out visual inspections on your sockets and plugs, checking for burn marks or any discolouration.
- Testing your RCD every 3 months is highly recommended, you can do this via pressing the test button your RCD in your consumer unit or on your portable RCD plug. It should switch off immediately. If it doesn’t switch off, call an electrician.
- Use extension leads properly: do not connect another extension lead to an existing extension lead, they call this ‘daisy chaining’ and this is extremely dangerous as extensions leads will have a max voltage they can carry.
- Always remember to hire a registered, qualified electrician to carry out any work, especially an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Not sure where to find one? Then go to the Electrical Competent Persons Register.
Common EICR FAQ’s
Do I need an EICR report?
If you haven’t had an EICR report carried out or had any work carried out on your home recently, it is recommended you have an EICR carried out to check the condition of your wiring, as it can deteriorate over time.
How often should my house have an EICR report carried out?
The IET recommend the following maximum periods between testing;
If you live in a domestic property, the recommended time for periodic inspection is every 10 years, or at the change of occupancy.
If you live in a rental property or are a landlord, an EICR is recommended every 5 years and at the start of each new tenancy.
If it is a commercial installation, the recommended period is 5 years between periodic inspections, or at the change of occupancy.
I’m a landlord, do I need to sort out an EICR report or does the tenant do it?
It is the landlords responsibility to organise an EICR and to carry them out either every 5 years and at the start of each tenancy. You must be able to show proof that it has been carried out by a registered electrician.
I’m an electrician can I do an EICR?
You must be able to prove your competency for an EICR – which you would only be able to do with a Level 3 periodic qualification.
For example, if you carried out an EICR and then wrongly informed a customer everything was fine and then a fault resulted in a fire, you would have to prove that you were competent to carry out an EICR.
Without a Level 3 Periodic qualification, you cannot prove your knowledge and competency, as during this course, you will be tested on periodic inspection and periodic paperwork, including the correct codes to use.
Do I need to have an EICR before selling my house?
No, however, it is good practice to ensure everything is in full, working and safe order. In some cases, a periodic inspection can actually help with the sale of the house, as a buyer could argue the wiring isn’t up to date and you could then provide proof that a periodic inspection has been carried out and granted it safe.