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Don’t be a fool and miss 1 April deadline for electrical checks

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It’s no joke: landlords who fail to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for their rental property by 1 April could face a fine of up to £30,000.

The government made EICRs mandatory for new tenancies last June, but from 1 April, all tenancies will need an EICR. So if you haven’t got an EICR for your rental property yet, you need to act quickly.

What is an EICR?

It’s basically an MOT for the electrics in a rental property. A suitably qualified electrician (visit NICEIC to find one) checks that all electrical installations such as the wiring, sockets, and lights are in safe working order.

Any faults are graded, ranging from C1 (the worst rating, requiring immediate action) through to C3 (meaning improvement is recommended but not required).

How long is an EICR valid for?

Five years.

Who enforces the EICR?

Local authorities. Landlords must present an EICR within seven days of a request from the local authority. As we said earlier, the fine for not doing so can reach £30,000.

What happens if an inspector finds a problem?

You must act; the safety of your tenants and your property could be at stake. In 2019, electrical issues caused more than 19,000 fires in the UK.

What do landlords do once they have an EICR?

Landlords must supply a copy to each tenant within 28 days of the inspection and retain a copy for themselves.

What about Covid-19?

It may be difficult for an electrician to enter a property if your tenant is self-isolating or shielding. But you must have evidence that you have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, so keep a detailed paper trail.

Two more things

1) The electrician will need to turn the power off to do the inspection, so forewarn your tenants.

2) Time is of the essence. It takes 48 hours to process a report, but if you need to carry out remedial works, the process will take even longer. Don’t dither. Book your inspection today.

If you have questions about EICRs or any aspect of letting a property, please get in touch with our award-winning team at Duncan Yeardley.

COPYRIGHT Duncan Yeardley 2021

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