Inspection and Testing at Regular Intervals and Report
The inspection and test must be conducted by a qualified person.
It’s important to note that the proposed 5 yearly intervals are a “maximum”. If the report says it only lasts for one year, it will have to be inspected and tested within one year.
It will be essential for landlords to ask how long the report will last (subject to there being no changes of course) before they employ any electrician to conduct the inspection.
At present It’s been reported at various places that there must also be an inspection and test before a tenancy commences in addition to the maximum five years.
However, currently there is no definition as to what is checked. We believe the NICEIC is suggesting that a visual inspection will be sufficient at the present time.
The FIRST inspection and testing must be carried out:
- before the tenancy commences in relation to a new specified tenancy(which is any tenancy or renewal including a statutory periodic tenancy) or,
- by 1st April 2021 in relation to an existing tenancy.
Note that the regulations do not require a report at every new tenancy. It’s only the first report which is before the tenancy commences (or before 1 April 2021). Once you have a report, the intervals apply (maximum five years depending on any date in the report).
A statutory periodic tenancy is classed as a renewal so a report will have to be obtained before the fixed term ends.
The landlord must obtain a written report about the inspection and testing. The report must be given to the tenant within 28 days. A copy must be given to a local authority within 7 days if they request a copy.
The report must be retained until the next test is due and a copy must be given to the person who is carrying out the next inspection.
Similar to a gas safety record, the most recent report must be given to any new tenant before that tenant occupies the premises and it must also be given to any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request by them.
If the report requires further investigative or remedial work, that must be carried out within 28 days or less if the report requires it to be less. A written confirmation from a qualified person that the investigative and/or remedial work has been carried out must be obtained.
The written confirmation must be supplied to the tenant along with the original report (so they will now have a second copy of the same report) within 28 days.
In addition, the local authority must be sent a copy of the original report and the written confirmation within 28 days even if no request has been made (the two documents must be sent to both tenant and local authority without any request being made within 28 days where further investigative or remedial action was required in the original report).
There are essentially two key duties and a private landlord must:
- ensure that the standards for electrical installations in the eighteenth edition of the Wiring Regulations, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the British Standards Institution as BS 7671 are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy; and
- ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years or, where the most recent report requires such intervals of less than 5 years, at the intervals specified in that report.
How do I find a ‘qualified and competent person’ to carry out the test?
The Regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years.
Guidance has been produced by the electrical safety industry that covers how landlords can choose a qualified and competent inspector and tester. This includes, but is not limited to:
When commissioning an inspection, in order to establish if a person is qualified and competent landlords can:
- check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme; or
- require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.
What Is Inspected in an EICR?
During an EICR, the consumer unit (or fuseboard), wiring and electrical accessories are thoroughly tested and inspected for faults or deviations from the Wiring Standards. Throughout the test, the following will be inspected and tested:
- The adequacy of the earthing and bonding.
- Devices for protection against fire and electric shock.
- Any damage or wear and tear that might affect the safety of the property’s inhabitants.
- Identification of any damaged electrical fittings and accessories.
- Identification of any exposed live wires that could cause a fire or injury.
Many faults can’t be seen simply by looking and are only picked up during testing.
A breach of the regulations can attract a penalty of up to £30,000. There can be multiple penalties in the event of a continuing failure to comply.
If you’re unsure and need some advice, please feel free to call JCE Contracting on 01373 455 690, we shall be more than happy to assist you.