Landlords Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

Updated 09 April 2021

I expected this to happen. I have seen several EICR’s from Landlords carried out by “local” Electricians. – They have FAILED inspection!

Reason: EICR is always made against Current Regulations (18th Revision) which came into force 1st January 2019, however allowance has to be made for the regulations that were current when the current electrical system was “installed”. So, what is NOW considered Dangerous (according to current regulations) was NOT considered Dangerous when it was installed. Its a bit like Car Seat belts. We All (?) think these are good Safety Feature of Modern Cars – but Cars built prior to 1962 do NOT need seat belts to be fitted, but they are still legal to drive and will still pass an MOT. (OK you don’t HAVE to have an MOT on such an old vehicle, but its still advised that you do). But would YOU want to ride in a car without Seat belts?

One problem seems to be that “Testers” are either ignorant of the fact that whilst the installation has to be tested against the current (18th) regulations, consideration has to be made of the regulations in force when the house was built. It seems that many don’t seem aware of this, don’t know their regulations history OR are looking to make good money while Landlords having left things to the last moment (EICR’s must be in place by 1st April) are like Rabbits Caught in the Car Headlights!

The testing identifies problems with the following labels:

C1: Dangerous NOW

C2: Dangerous if a Fault Occurs

C3: Improvement Required (Could do better!) – a bit like an Advisory on an MOT – Don’t dismiss it, be aware of the areas where your property does NOT meet current standards.

FI: Futher investigation: This means “he couldn’t figure something out” that was bothering him without spending more time – This is also a failure.

https://www.intersafe.co.uk/news/fixed-wire-testing-observation-codes-c1-c2-c3-and-fi-explained/

So, if YOU have had a recent inspection and the inspection flagged up:

NO RCD PROTECTION….. THEN CHALLENGE IT!

This means the Electrician is looking to do some expensive “remedial” work in order to Pass your Property as Safe! In other words – He wants at least a days work to replace your “Fusebox” and retest your house.

He may also have found other things (in your 20 -50 year old house) that does NOT comply with 2019 Installation Standards!

So here are some key points for all you Landlords that have received Fail Certificates:-

If your house electrical system was installed before these dates they do NOT apply to you:

  • RCD’s were NOT required on Lighting Circuits until January 1st 2019.
  • RCD’s were NOT required on ANY circuits until January 2008.

  • Cables Concealed in Wall less then 50mm – Not a problem for houses built before January 2008.
  • No RCD Protection for Circuits (or cables) passing through Bathrooms. (This is getting repetitive). Not a problem for houses built before January 2008.
  • Earth cables do NOT necessarily have to be 16mm – this depends on several factors including age of property.
  • Meter tails do NOT necessarily have to be 25mm – this depends on factors.
  • Downlights are not Fire Rated. This is Building Regs Thing… Ideally downlights should be Fire-rated for general safety (I won’t fit non-down rated ones) but if they are already in place and have been for some time its not an issue (C3?). New ones installed downstairs should always be Fire rated. However, there should be no blue/brown or black/red inner wiring exposed, and the earth wires should be connected around the circuit even if not used by the light itself. (C2 for inner wiring problem, C3 for lack of earth if the light is double insulated, C2 if the light needs an earth)
  • You do NOT have to have “Trips” (MCB’s) if “of an age” is OK to have “Fuses” or “Fuse wire” fuses.
  • If the Water pipe entering your property is PLASTIC as it comes out of the ground into your Kitchen (or wherever) it does NOT have to be Bonded to Earth. This is actually a change in the latest (18th) regulations, but in this case you CAN apply retrospectively.
  • However, IF you don’t have RCD’s you MUST have FULL BONDING on all your water pipes inside the house. – So this could fail you instead!

Having said that, I would not want to live, nor expect my Tenants to live in a house without RCD protection on at least the socket circuits. And if you have FULL RCD protection, you probably don’t need the Bonding anymore on your water pipes. The most sensible way to install RCD protection on all circuits is to replace the Fuse box – but I repeat – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE RCD PROTECTION on houses older than 2008! – Unless you have your Fusebox replaced in which case it MUST be a full RCD type!

So, if you do have “NO RCD” problems flagged, you really *should* think about a new Fusebox for Safety – RCD protection could literally mean the difference between Life and Death – but you don’t have to have one fitted right now in a panic!

Other problems that are often incorrectly reported as C2 or C1:

  • No Earth on Lighting Circuit. Houses built before 1966 did NOT have to have Earth Circuits (we often call them CPC’s on our certificates). So this is not a fail either ?

Yes and no. If you only have Plastic Light fittings and Plastic Light Switches – then NO this is NOT a failure – you do NOT need a rewire – you just need a Safety Notice on your Fusebox as a Warning. If you do have Metal fittings anywhere on your lighting circuits – either you need a Lighting Rewire or replace all the Metal stuff with Plastic or fit “Double Insulated” metal light fittings and get a Warning Label on your Fusebox.

  • Bathroom fittings not IP rated. So? What exactly are these fittings are where are they located? A bathroom is divided into Zones. The worst is above a Shower or Bath – A shower (Zone 1) extends to 2.25 meters from the floor and Zone 2 extends 60cms to the sides to the sides. See this diagram for full explanation: https://www.jlmelectrical.co.uk/bathroom-zones-explained/

    So a “Pendant” or Batten light in the middle of the bathroom does not fail an EICR provided it is further than 60 cms from the Shower. A Down light above the shower does NOT fail EICR if it’s higher than 2.25m from the floor – however if its NOT splash rated (IPx3 at least) then he may have a point!
    https://www.jlmelectrical.co.uk/i-p-ratings-explained/
    Also if the cover is missing from the light fitting exposing live contacts, even if just the screw heads of a “chocolate block” connector – this is a failure – Live Contacts exposed!
  • Fusebox should be Metal, not Plastic. This only applies to Boxes installed after January 2013, if they are found to be Plastic, and this is not even a C3!
  • Smoke Alarms out of date or not working. Nothing to do with an EICR, Its good to know, but not grounds for Failure. However as a Landlord this could later find you in Court! So thank him for bringing this to your attention. Be aware the Smoke alarm may be wired in, therefore you might want him to replace them for you.

There will likely be a lot more “Faults” your Electrician may find – Some appear to be “made up” – i.e. Nothing in the Regulations at all.

Some faults may be “Building Regulations” issues – These are usually NO REASON to fail an Electrical Inspection – at worst these should be C3’s

If you have a failed EICR and an expensive bill to “fix it” – you can always call in another Electrician for a second opinion – The trouble is – he could be the first guys “Brother in Law” !

See here for more explanation – Its a guide for Electricians really – so if in doubt send him (or her) link to this page:

https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/professional-resources/wiring-regulations/inspection-testing-certification-and-reporting/

If you do have a Failed EICR you could email me a copy. I can’t guarantee to comment very quickly because I have LOTS of EICR’s to do!! (and very little fuseboxes to replace!) but it would be of interest to me to see whats going on.

If you really do not believe your Electrician after you have challenged his findings, then contact his “Registration Body” – NAPIT, ELECSA, NICEIC, STROMA etc. and see what they have to say. And if you HAVE paid to have “unnecessary” work carried out – again Contact his Registration body. Just Search the Internet for the Registration Body contact details.

If you are notified of any Failures (C1, C2, FI) – you are “Expected” to resolve these within 28 days. C3’s – Just think about them and plan to fix them.

Of course, just because of what I have said above does not mean that there are other things in your house that are not genuine failures. When an Electrician issues a PASS, HE is taking responsibility for the Safety from you and taking it onto his own shoulders – so he has to be careful what he accepts, with regards to “Safety” and the Regulations.

So what if I don’t have an satisfactory EICR in place by 1st April 2021?

If the local authority believe a landlord to be in breach of the duties set out by the regulations, they must serve a remedial notice to the landlord who must then carry out the action recommended.

If the local authority has concluded, beyond reasonable doubt, that a private landlord has breached their duties under the regulations, they may issue a notice of intent to impose a financial penalty. This penalty is determined by the local authority but cannot exceed the amount of £30,000.

I would think right now that the Local Council have got more pressing matters to be worrying about! – But you might find it more difficult to evict your Tenant if you don’t have one after this date. But you will find it very difficult to evict them anyway at present! (COVID-19)

I am only booking a maximum of 2 Days for EICR’s each week. That is a maximum of 4 EICR’s per week. This is to allow me to process the paperwork, attend to my other business etc. but I am still accepting more EICR’s – I am currently booking EICR’s into Late May.

Further reading:

http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Wiring_regs_history

https://www.niceic.com/www.niceic.com/media/PDF/FactSheet-Electrics-A4-4pp.pdf

and here…

5 thoughts on “Landlords Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)”

  1. Hi Tony, came across you while trying to get my head around an EICR I’ve recently had which I’m still trying to do, really glad I did come across you as the information you give is really informative, thank you, one of my main questions is are mains connected smoke alarms to be included in the report?
    The below is an overview of the inspection and really just want to understand if the below is accurate to what I need to be doing to a property built in 1996.
    Thank you in advance if there is any guidance you can give me.

    C1. Danger present.
    C2. Potentially dangerous.
    C3. Improvement recommended.

    Items 1, 2 and 6 have been rectified.

    Item .
    3/ C2. Seal holes in top of immersion heater connections.
    4/ C2. Replace 2 x immersion heater double pole switches for 13A switched fused spurs.
    5/ C3. Upgrade busbar in consumer unit to allow for an addition 16A MCB which will allow for the immersion to be on its own circuit.
    7/ C2. Replace bathroom light with a suitable IP rating.
    8/ C3. Replace battern holder light fitting at bottom of stairs.
    9/ C3. Refix kitchen light.
    11/ C3. Re-terminate supply cables in consumer unit.
    12/ C3. Seal large hole in plasterboard above consumer unit.
    14/ C3. Replace faulty 4″ extractor fan in bathroom.
    15/ C2. Investigate and improve the high reading on the continuity of the cpc ring.
    16/ C2. Seal hole in top of switched spur in cupboard under sink, also investigate its use.
    17/ C3. Label consumer unit and isolation switches with their use.

    Also.
    Replace existing out of date smoke alarms with 2 x mains linked 10 year lithium battery smoke alarms.

    On completion we will provide a satisfactory electrical condition report.

    1. Andy
      Firstly, I would like to state that “I don’t class myself as “an expert” – But I am Fully Qualified and experienced, but… I’ve just phoned NAPIT technical support twice this morning to confirm that I was not being un-reasonable with my failures!

      Also, remember, it’s not just the age of the house – but rather the age of the “Electrical Installation” – so, if (for example) the CU has been replaced in the past, then you should judge the installation on this date… or if work has been carried out recently – then you should perhaps apply that date where relevant. When electrical work is carried out that work must comply with the “current” regulations at the time.

      So to comment:

      Item .
      3/ C2. Seal holes in top of immersion heater connections.
      4/ C2. Replace 2 x immersion heater double pole switches for 13A switched fused spurs.
      5/ C3. Upgrade busbar in consumer unit to allow for an addition 16A MCB which will allow for the immersion to be on its own circuit.

      Immersion heaters are *supposed* to be on their own circuits – with nothing else on them… however in “older days” I (assume) this was not a regulation ?? Its not unusual to find boiler, or occasionally a socket on this circuit – but provided its on it’s own circuit and protected by a 16A MCB / Fuse, then I accept it. If an Immersion heater is fed from the Ring (not advisable as it’s takes a lot of the capacity of the ring) then Yes – it should be protected by a 13 FCU. If you are going to put it onto it’s own circuit in the CU (16A), then it doesn’t need an FCU and the original switch would suffice – but 13A gives better protection.

      7/ C2. Replace bathroom light with a suitable IP rating.

      Assuming that it is “in the zone” (and not outside the zone – remember the Zone stops at 2.25m from the floor)

      8/ C3. Replace battern holder light fitting at bottom of stairs.
      Why? if loose or damaged then C2, if showing signs of discolouration (100W bulb!) then C3

      9/ C3. Refix kitchen light.
      Is it loose? C2

      11/ C3. Re-terminate supply cables in consumer unit.
      Why?

      12/ C3. Seal large hole in plasterboard above consumer unit.
      14/ C3. Replace faulty 4″ extractor fan in bathroom.
      15/ C2. Investigate and improve the high reading on the continuity of the cpc ring.
      This is usually a loose connection in the back of one (or more) of the sockets. – I often find it quicker to open then all up and tighten screws than try to be “clever” and try to trace the fault with my meter! But, firsts make a beeline for any sockets that have been “replaced” -by Bodger Bill… often “amateurs” replace sockets, light-switches and lights and fail to tighten the connections properly!

      16/ C2. Seal hole in top of switched spur in cupboard under sink, also investigate its use.

      17/ C3. Label consumer unit and isolation switches with their use.

      Also, in 1996 it did NOT required Full RCD protection, whereas any new work done now does. BUT, if you don’t have FULL RCD protection, then you need to ensure the Bonding is good in the Bathroom – unless its not required (plastic pipes and insulation of taps to earth is >20K to earth. If you DO have full RCD protection, then the 18th Regs says Supplementarty bonding is not required – but check you don’t have a metal waste pipe outside – External Conductive Part! See Here for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVxBettQpPU

      I am carrying out “many” Landlord EICR’s at present – I have only had ONE go through without any intervention from me! I usually allow 3-4 hours per EICR and fix what I can within this time, so that I can sign off without a re-visit – but that’s just how I do it.

  2. Mains connected smoke alarms. If they are connected to the mains – then they are of concern for Electrical Safety. – however, they don’t usually use the earth, so if they are un-earthed I just regard as a C3. If they are “out of date” – recommend to the Landlord that they should be replaced – but from the EICR – all you care about is Electrical Safety – not if they are out of date or missing! They don’t need to be interlinked – unless an HMO – or a Recent build, or a Recent Extension has been built – in which case the Building Control Officer will have requested Interlinked Mains powered Alarms anyway – in ALL of the property – not just the new extension! – in which case, I usually fit AICO Wireless alarms (Wireless bases) as you can “mix and match” wired and wireless with Aico. Some makes don’t support mixing.

  3. Hi Tony,

    I had EICR done yesterday (16/04/21) which I am in process of purchasing and I have been send the following errors by the electrician. Please advise as I am thinking electrician is taking me for a ride.

    Thanks

    Please see attached quote for remedial works . The Following defects were found in the installation which has resulted in an unsatisfactory report.

    1) Socket Circuits up to 32A require RCD protection – 1 on DB1, 1 on DB2 and 1 on DB3 require this.

    2) Cables encased in walls require RCD protection if they are buried below 50mm deep. 5 on DB1, 4 on DB2 require this. ( additional to ones above )

    3) The light switch in the front living room has no earth in the cable – you need to change this from a metal switch to a plastic one, or rewire the cable. I’ve allocated to replace switch.

    4) Downlights must be Fire rated if they have a room above. The downlights on the ground and First floor will need to be changed.

    5) Where cables connect into an accessory, all inner cores of the cable must be enclosed in the enclosure, at every downlight they have been poorly terminated and inner cores are visable outside the downlight enclosure.

    6) There must be no holes in the top of any accessories bigger than ip4x. Where a cable enter the consumer unit DB1 the hole is larger than this. Fire Mastic required to seal hole.

    7) On the Socket ring in the loft, you have an open circuit on the live conductors. This needs to be investigated and found to repair.

    To repair defects on DB1, you can either replace the consumer unit for an up to date one and this would clear all defects, or install RCBOs on the required circuits.
    Defects on DB2 can be cleard by swapping the main switch for an RCD switch.
    Defects on DB3 in garage require an RCBO on the socket circuit. This is an older make of board so procuring these can be quite hard.
    The DownLights I use of a high quality unit, These come with an integrated LED and a lifetime of 25000 hours. if you’d prefer a cheaper option then i can alter this on the quote.
    By changing the Downlights, this would also resolve the issue of them being poorly terminated.
    The socket ring in the loft requires fault finding to find the issue. this is most probably a loose connection in one of the sockets.

    Please feel free to come back with any questions you may have. I can send you any documentation required to show how these findings have occurred.

    Description of works –

    Remedial works cost:

    1) Replace 57 downlights with fire rated downlights.

    2) Install 1RCD for DB2

    3) Install 6 RCBOs in DB1 for required circuits or replace consumer unit

    4) Fix hole in top of DB1

    5) Investigate open circuit on sockets in loft room

    6) Install 1 RCBO in DB3 for sockets

    7) Change metal light switch in front room for plastic light switch

    Cost of materials and labour –

    1) 57 spot lights @ £14.23 each – £811.11

    2) 1 x RCD @ £63 each – £63

    3) 6 RCBOs @ £29 each – £174

    4) Fire mastic – £3

    5) Labour only 1 hour – £50

    6) 1 x RCBO @ £34

    7) 1 x plastic light switch @ £3.24

    8) Labour – 2 days @ £250 – £500

    Total Amount £1638.35

    This Quote is valid for 30 days. All Quotes are final and cover description of works only. Any additional extras will be discussed with client prior to work being carried out. Please read attached terms and conditions for further information.

    1. Firstly: How OLD is the property? How OLD is the current electrical installation – Both these factors NEED to be considered by the person testing. Testing has to be carried out against the 18th, BUT PASS/FAIL must be decided against the regulations in place at the time of installation and the “judgement” of the inspector – example if a house still has original electrics installed to regulations in force on 1895 I would most likely FAIL it!

      >> 1) Socket Circuits up to 32A require RCD protection – 1 on DB1, 1 on DB2 and 1 on DB3 require this.
      Only if installed since 2008! If this is an “older” installation, it does NOT have to be brought up to current standards – unless the existing electrical system is being “modified” (Replacing existing components with “like for like” does not apply – So NO RCD protection, whilst I highly recommend it – is NOT required.
      see BS7671 (2018), page 4, “Introduction to BS 7671:2018”, 2nd paragraph!

      >> 2) Cables encased in walls require RCD protection if they are buried below 50mm deep. 5 on DB1, 4 on DB2 require this. ( additional to ones above )
      Only if installed since 2008! – See above for rest of my comment

      3) The light switch in the front living room has no earth in the cable – you need to change this from a metal switch to a plastic one, or rewire the cable. I’ve allocated to replace switch.
      Yes, not earthed – fit plastic switch and plastic light or double insulated – and put Warning Notice on Fusebox. (CU)

      >> 4) Downlights must be Fire rated if they have a room above. The downlights on the ground and First floor will need to be changed.
      NO! ONLY A RECOMMENDATION! But see comment about poor wiring – replacement with better to wire units is the best option…

      >> 5) Where cables connect into an accessory, all inner cores of the cable must be enclosed in the enclosure, at every downlight they have been poorly terminated and inner cores are visable outside the downlight enclosure.
      Sadly, often the way – there are a lot of COWBOY downlight installations out there! It may be cheaper to have them taken out and some LED batten lights fitted – but they won’t look so nice!


      >> 6) There must be no holes in the top of any accessories bigger than ip4x. Where a cable enter the consumer unit DB1 the hole is larger than this. Fire Mastic required to seal hole.
      Correct.

      >> 7) On the Socket ring in the loft, you have an open circuit on the live conductors. This needs to be investigated and found to repair.
      This is a FAULT – Most likely loose wires in the back of a socket – OR someone has put a NAIL through a cable! Not possible to say how long this will take to fix. about 15 mins if just a case of opening the sockets and checking the wires are screwed in correctly.

      >> To repair defects on DB1, you can either replace the consumer unit for an up to date one and this would clear all defects, or install RCBOs on the required circuits.
      >> Defects on DB2 can be cleard by swapping the main switch for an RCD switch.
      >> Defects on DB3 in garage require an RCBO on the socket circuit. This is an older make of board so procuring these can be quite hard.

      NOT REQUIRED IMHO – Maybe you should talk to another local electrical for an opinion – or contact the registration body of your Electrician to question his diagnosis?

      >> The DownLights I use of a high quality unit, These come with an integrated LED and a lifetime of 25000 hours. if you’d prefer a cheaper option then i can alter this on the quote.
      >> By changing the Downlights, this would also resolve the issue of them being poorly terminated.

      This what I would do – I use LAP ones from Screwfix. But its time consuming replacing them all – and they have to fit the existing holes – or more problems to overcome.

      >> The socket ring in the loft requires fault finding to find the issue. this is most probably a loose connection in one of the sockets.
      Agreed

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