This April is the deadline for Electrical Inspection Condition Reports (EICR). Whilst the new EICR regulations have been in force since June 2020 for any properties newly let since that time, all properties - even those with long-term tenants - need to have met the regulations by this April. Here’s everything you need to know!
What is an ECIR?
An ECIR is a certificate that details the safety and overall condition of all the electrical installations and fittings in a property. The report is produced following an in-depth assessment carried out by a qualified electrician. The electrician will complete a visual inspection and perform some tests on installations to confirm that everything is functioning safely and is compliant with minimum regulatory standards. Where the electrician identifies any potentially hazardous defects, they will note this in the report with the appropriate recommendation code and advise the landlord of any required remedial work. The certificate will also list the date by which the next inspection is due.
Carrying out an ECIR inspection during COVID-19
In the property industry, we have faced a seemingly endless number of rules and restrictions due to COVID-19, making the usual tasks more difficult. With Lockdown 3.0 looking to last until at least March time, meeting the April deadline is going to be a little fiddly.
The good news is, house moves are still able to go forward. If you’ve got tenants moving out before April, the easiest way to complete an ECIR is to do so between tenants- whilst the property is empty.
But, what if you have long-term tenants? The key is to have an open discussion with your tenants about what needs to take place, why it’s important and how it will be done safely. Explain to your tenants that social distancing guidelines will be followed closely and a mask will be worn by the electrician carrying out the inspection. Also, ask your tenants if they have any further requests or requirements to help put them at ease. For instance, could the inspection be carried out whilst they’re out for their daily exercise?
Remember, whilst some will be totally fine and happy for the inspection to go ahead, others will be more nervous. People are feeling frightened right now. Plus, if your tenants are vulnerable or high risk, they might not be happy for an electrician to enter their homes at all.
Listen to their feelings and be respectful of their decision. If ultimately they don’t feel comfortable with it, the government has stated they will allow exceptions where there is evidence from the property owner that the inspection couldn’t be scheduled. For this reason, try to conduct the conversation in email or at least ask your tenants to put in writing that they’re not comfortable having someone enter their home.
Alternatively, let us manage this for you! If dealing with regulations like this are adding yet another admin task to your already busy schedule, let us handle your workload when it comes to your properties. Get in touch with a member of the team to find out how we can help today.