The Housing Act 2014 introduced new rules on mandatory electrical testing, and became statutory regulation from the 1st of December 2015 for new tenancies and from 1st of December 2016 for existing tenancies. The new rules require properties to have fixed wiring checks, known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report, at least every 5 years. The EICR must also include a PAT test (Portable Appliance Test) on portable electric appliances that you have included as part of the let. The check is not required on electrical appliances belonging to your tenant. Electricians carrying out this report must be competent and a member of either SELECT or NICEIC. In order for EICRs and PATs to be acceptable under the regulations, they must be documented on specified forms provided in the guidance. Although the law states that the checks are carried out at least every 5 years, it is recommended that it be carried out more often- particularly PAT tests that they advise should be annually checked. Enforcement of the regulations is the responsibility of the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP). The PRHP (Private Rented Housing Panel) settles disputes regarding rent and repairs, for example if a tenant reports a problem related to the Repairing or Tolerable Standard. For evictions, damages or other issues, a court would deal with this.
What is PAT?
Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.
As a NICEIC Member company we are technically assessed annually along with our work, premises, documentation, equipment, competency and we have to maintain technical and safety standards, and codes of practice.
All electrical work is carried out in accordance with BS7671 of the IET Electrical Regulations and during any period of the work the electrical installation will comply with the Electrical at Work Regulations (EAWR).
An EICR will:
Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
Identify any defective electrical work.
Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.
How often is a EICR required?
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
10 years for an owner-occupied home.
5 years for a rented home.
3 years for a caravan
1 year for a swimming pool.
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
When a property is being prepared for letting.
Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property.