Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate

In June 2020, the government introduced new regulations governing electrical safety in the private rented sector, in particular landlord electrical safety certification. The new standards require landlords to have the electrical installation in their properties inspected and tested by a qualified electrician at least every five years.

electrical testing and inspection

We’ve put some information together on what the regulations mean in practice, what an Electrical Installation Condition Report involves and what happens if a landlord fails to comply with the rules.

Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector: What is required?

As of April 2021, all new and existing tenancies in England are required to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

An EICR tests the condition of a property’s electrics according to the UK Standard for the Safety of Electrical Installations – the BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations).

The purpose of this updated landlord electrical safety certification, and the regulation as a whole, is to ensure that the national standards for electrical safety are met in every property, guaranteeing high-quality and safe housing for tenants.

The test involves:

  • Assessing the condition of the wiring system
  • Checking the adequacy of the earthing and bonding to prevent electric shocks
  • Checking the fuses, circuit breakers, switches and other power conductors
  • Ensuring the ongoing serviceability of switches, sockets and light fittings
  • Checking for any wear and tear or damage
  • Making sure the wiring is readily identifiable for future inspections, testing, repair and maintenance

Following the inspection, the electrician will issue you with a report detailing the results and the date of the next test.

Once you receive this report, you are required to:

  • Supply the local authority with a copy of the report within seven days of receiving a request
  • Give a copy of the report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection
  • Give a copy of the report to a new tenant before they occupy the property
  • Give a copy of the report to a prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the electrician who undertakes the next inspection

For more information about how much EICR’s are – read our EICR cost guide.

What will the report show?

The EICR will either state that the installation complies with national standards and is satisfactory for continued use, or it will declare it as unsatisfactory and include details of any suggested or necessary remedial work that needs to be done.

Electricians use the following classification code to indicate what level of repair work needs to be undertaken.

  • C1: Danger exists requiring immediate remedial action and the persons using the installation are at risk.
  • C2: An observed defect is not considered dangerous at the time of the inspection, but will become a real and immediate danger if a fault was to occur in the installation.
  • C3: An observed defect is not considered a potential danger, but improvement would significantly enhance the safety of the installation.
  • F1: Further investigation is required.

If the report comes back as unsatisfactory pending further investigative or remedial work, a landlord is obligated to:

  • Complete the specified work within 28 days of receiving the report (or a shorter period, if stated)
  • Obtain written confirmation of the remedial works from the electrician and supply this to the tenant and local authority within 28 days of completion

What happens if you fail to comply with the rules?

The local authority may serve a remedial notice on the landlord requiring action or arrange for remedial action to be taken themselves.

The local authority can recover the costs of taking the action from the landlord, but the landlord has the right to appeal against a demand for costs.

If the report indicates that urgent remedial action is required, and the landlord has not carried this out within the period specified in the report, the local authority may, with the consent of the tenant, arrange to carry out remedial work.

Landlords who don’t organise an EICR or fail to undertake the necessary remedial work risk a fine of up to £30,000.

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Who should conduct the report?

An EICR should only ever be carried about by a qualified, registered electrician who can self-certify that your electrics (and their inspection) meet the necessary standards for regulations.

The best way to guarantee this is to hire an electrician who is a member of a competent person scheme.

This has the added benefit of more protection and a complaints resolution procedure should something go wrong.


Do I need to organise a new EICR on a change of tenancy?

No, you do not need to have checks carried out on a change of tenancy, as long as the change falls within the five-year period. However, a copy of the EICR must be provided to the new tenants.

What properties do the regulations apply to?

The regulations apply where a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent. They also apply to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if the HMO is a tenant’s only or main residence and they pay rent. For exceptions, refer to Schedule 1 of the regulations.

Do I need an EICR if I have a new build?

If a property is newly built (or has been completely rewired), it will have an Electrical Installation Certificate known as an EIC. You will not need to get an EICR until five years after the EIC is issued, provided you have complied with your duties under the regulations and fulfilled all of the necessary landlord electrical safety certification requirements.

What if I have the landlord electrical safety certification from before the regulations were introduced?

If you have an EICR that was carried out more than five years ago, it will technically no longer be valid for these regulations, irrespective of whether it has an original validity of ten years under the old regulations. As of 1st April 2021, all private rental properties must have an EICR every five years.

Are the rules different for the rest of the country?

Similar rules have existed in Scotland since 2015 (where landlords are also required to arrange a PAT test). In Wales, there is no such legal requirement but landlords are strongly encouraged to obtain an EICR.

Do I have to have another EICR carried out if my first one came back as unsatisfactory?

No, you don’t. You just need to ensure that (1) any required remedial work or further investigation is undertaken within 28 days (or less, if specified) of receiving the report and (2) that you obtain written confirmation of the remedial work to be kept with the report.

What if my tenant won’t let me in?

If you can show that you’ve taken all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations, you won’t be found in breach of your duty to comply. ‘All reasonable steps’ means documenting and keeping all communication you have had with both your tenants and the electrician so that you can clearly show you have tried to comply.

Moreover, the government has said that landlords will not be penalised for a breach of regulations if tenants want to exercise caution during the pandemic and refuse to have the work, so long as all reasonable steps to comply have been taken.