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Guide to electrical certificates

Guide to electrical certificates

If you’re a landlord, there are a lot of legalities you need to have in place. Depending on the type of property you own, this may include an electrical certificate. Here’s what you need to know.  

Peter Earl
From the Energy team
minute read
posted 11 FEBRUARY 2020

What is an electrical certificate?

An electrical certificate, or Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), is what you’ll be given after a certified electrical engineer has checked all the wiring of a property and made sure it meets the required safety standards.

Do I need an electrical certificate?

If you’re a landlord, it’s recommended you get an electrical inspection every three to five years. This protects your tenants, as well as sparing you from potential lawsuits. Having an electrical certificate proves that you’ve taken reasonable steps to ensure your tenants’ safety. 

Is an electrical certificate a legal requirement?  

An electrical certificate isn’t a legal requirement for all landlords. However, you’re responsible for your tenants’ safety and for making sure the electrics are in good working order, so it might be worth it for your own peace of mind.

The rules are different if your property is an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation). Then you’re legally required to have the electrics inspected and certified safe every five years.

And don’t forget that, as a landlord, you’ll need to make sure any appliance you supply is safe and has the CE marking – to show it meets legal standards.

How much does an electrical certificate cost?

That depends on the size of the property. On average, you can expect to pay around £100 for a one-bedroom flat, or £120 for a three-bed property.

Where can I get an electrical certificate?

As with gas safety certificates, it’s a good idea to shop around. Be sure to check what’s included in the price and make sure there are no hidden costs.

Who can give me an electrical certificate?  

You’ll need to choose a registered electrician. That way you’ll know they’re regulated and work to the BS7671 safety standard.  

What will the electrical engineer check?

Before you get your certificate, the engineer will check a number of potential risk areas, including: 

  • fusebox
  • sockets
  • lighting
  • earthing
  • bonding.

Do I need an electrical certificate to sell a house?

No, but the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting recommends that the wiring in a house is checked every 10 years, or every time you move to a new house.

The statistics are sobering. On average, four people a day are injured or killed as a result of an electrical fire, and more than half of all fires in England are caused by electrical faults. And the leading cause of injuries? Ovens and cookers.

So, it’s worth making sure all the electrics are in order, by having a professional check them every three to five years.

And it’s also worth making sure that you have every other aspect of your tenanted property covered, with landlord insurance.

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