I talked in my last blog post about things to keep an eye on in property in 2021. If you haven’t seen this, please do give it a read. Following on from one of the points in that post, there is a lot of talk surrounding electrics in properties and if you are new to property investing you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.
In short, there has been some legislation passed which says that from April 2021, all privately rented properties must have a valid “Electrical Installations Condition Report” (EICR) or have had one done in the last 5 years at the time of writing. They must then carry on doing this at least every 5 years. If your certificate is technically in date because the certificate says 10 years on it, this will not matter. If it’s been done before 2016, you’ll need a new one.
What is an EICR?: Without going into all the nitty gritty, and EICR is an electrical test looks to identify any damage, deterioration or defects which may put the occupants safety in jeopardy. These are separated into 3 codes; C1, C2 and C3.
C1 must be sorted there and then as it could be a danger to life, C2 means there is potential for danger and needs attention and a C3 is a recommendation for improvement. To get a satisfactory report, all C1’s and C2’s must be dealt with. If you want to find out more, you can view the government legislation for landlords here.
How much should I pay for an EICR?: £150 ish seems to be the average price in Mansfield for the test only. Any remedial works will be quoted for separately so you cannot put a full price on getting a satisfactory report without doing the initial test. Each electrician will have their own price and ways they structure it. For example, some charge based on size of the consumer unit whereas other charge based on time taken at the property or maybe even the size of the property. Do take this into account and ask the right questions when getting your quotes as if someone charges less than £100, they may be making money out of you in other ways.
My EICR has come back as unsatisfactory, what now?: The electrician should provide in the report a list of things that need actioning to make it a satisfactory report. These should be done as soon as possible but you do have 28 days officially.
EICR’s & Covid-19: The government guidelines are always changing so I would always advise to check the latest guidance. I could write something today and legislation change tomorrow. If you already have tenants in a property, then you should still look to arrange an EICR if required and stick to the latest Covid-19 guidance. My personal advice on this would be to keep notes of any dates/times of contact with your tenants just in case you cannot get the EICR done in time for April due to unforeseen circumstances arising from them having Covid-19 or issues surrounding this. But again, I do have to stress to check the latest guidance at the time of reading this post as it may have changed since writing.
If you have any properties which you rent out or even are looking for your first property investment, this should be on your radar. I always mention to people to get this done at the earliest convenience.
If you do have any questions about this post or are concerned your property might not be up to current regulations. Feel free to email me for a free property health check. Simply send your name and number and any information you want to give about your property to email@example.com.
Speak soon and stay safe.