The Importance of an Electrical Certificate

If there is a fire at a rental property, the insurance company, fire brigade and police will have the same question – were the electrics in the property safe? This is where an electrical certificate comes in. Read on to find out more.

What is an Electrical Certificate?

Electrical installation condition reports, otherwise known as EIRCs or electrical certificates, are there to protect the landlord and the tenants of a property. Ultimately, electrical certificates ensure that everything to do with the electrics in a property is compliant and safe. Electrical certificates prove a landlord has done the correct checks on the electrics in the building, and it has been certified by a qualified electrician. Failure to have this could cause a lot of trouble and even legal action, especially if a fire started because of faulty electrics. An up to date, valid electrical certificate proves that the property is safe, and the fire liability is unlikely to fall at the landlord’s feet.

Is it Illegal Not to Have a Valid Electrical Certificate?

As of April 2021, electrical certificates are required by law for all rental properties. The landlord must have the electrics checked by a professional every five years. The landlord is responsible for ensuring the premises are safe and fit to rent out, and it is now law that an electrical certificate is part of that.

What is Checked for a Valid Electrical Certificate?

The check covers five features. These are modern earthing, miniature circuit breakers, residual current devices, modern consumer units and modern PVC wiring.

The Difference Between an EICR and a PAT Test.

A professional, qualified electrician carries out the tests for an electrical certificate, which tests wiring, sockets, units and switches. A PAT test covers the appliances within a property. This may include items like the oven, fridge, freezer, washing machine or dishwasher. PAT tests are not required by law, although it is good to perform them regularly to minimise the chances of an unsafe situation.

In summary, EICRs are now a legal requirement and, therefore, part of any tenancy. Any landlord that does not comply may be putting their property and their tenants at risk. Faulty electrics are a common cause of house fires, and this is something every landlord should ensure they prevent wherever possible.

Contact Hardings Lettings for more advice about rental laws on 01277 233400.