Being a responsible landlord requires you to follow certain laws in relation to the condition of the property you are letting out, in order to ensure the safety of your tenants. One such thing includes obtaining Electrical Installation Condition Reports, or EICR testing.

If you are looking to rent out a property, then it is important that you understand what EICR testing is, who is responsible for it and how regularly it must be undertaken. We’ve condensed all this information for you to one place in this helpful guide.

Keep reading to find out more about EICR testing for Landlords.

What is an EICR Report?

An EICR is an electrical safety test that involves the periodic inspection and testing of electrical installations, with the intent of determining whether these meet regulatory standards that suggest they are in a safe and satisfactory condition for use.

The current law for landlords states that they must ensure national standards for safety are met, and are required to have the electrical installations in their rented properties inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at an interval of at least every 5 years. This is in compliance with The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

An EICR report itself is a formal document that is given to landlords including the results of testing, the date the report was issued and the date when a new report is needed.

Who is Responsible for EICR Testing?

Whilst landlords themselves are the ones responsible for arranging the testing for an EICR, the actual inspection and report must be completed by a qualified expert. This can be your local domestic electrician or electrical engineer, though they must be trained in carrying out EICR testing and know what needs to be assessed, the correct tests to carry out and how to correctly produce one of these documents.

Undertaking EICR Testing

During an EICR inspection, the electrician will carry out a number of visual and technical tests, both with the power on and off, on your electrical installations. These count as all fixed electricals that are supplied through the electrical metre (e.g. light fixtures).

Visual inspections will involve checking for:

●     Cracks

●     Breaks

●     Signs of overheating

And electrical tests involve:

●     Checking the voltage of different circuits

●     Checking the current in different circuits

There are a number of specifications that these tests consider, the main one being safety.

To check for safety, there are multiple factors they will look out for. The first is identifying any wear and tear or minor damage that may affect the safety of your occupants. This may be exposed or frayed wires, for example. If any such issues are detected, they should offer you solutions to fixing these to ensure they are in proper working order.

Checking for further danger, they will also identify which electrical installations are likely to cause shocks and fires. Electric fires account for a large percentage of domestic fires in the UK every year, often caused by faulty electrical outlets. If an electrician does deem any appliance a shock or fire risk, they will recommend that you either repair or replace them, and advise your tenants that they should not be used until you have done so.

They will also check that all your electrical equipment and outlets are properly installed, making sure they are both safe and in proper working order.

The other key aspect they will be looking out for is whether your electrical installations meet the criteria of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Wiring Regulations (18th edition), which are the British standard.

These standards cover some of the following:

●     Specifications for low-voltage switchgear and control gear

●     13 A sockets

●     Specifications for general purpose fuse links

●     Appliance couplers

●     Code of practice for earth-wiring

●     Operation of electrical installations

Your qualified electrician should be familiar with the standards required of your appliances in order to make a professional judgement on whether they conform to these regulations or not.

Once all the tests have been completed, your electrician will then write the report, noting the condition of your electrical installations.

Obtaining an EICR Certificate: Why is it Important?


We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your tenants safe, especially from electrical faults. This will offer them peace of mind that you are a reliable landlord and will be safe in your property. You will also be reassured that your property is less likely to be damaged and cost you money or potential legal issues.

Legal Cover

By owning an EICR certificate, you have proof that you have taken the necessary precautions to keep your tenants safe. Not only can this be referred to in future assessments, but should an accident occur in your property then an EICR certificate shows the accident is not the result of negligence on your end. It also shows that you are meeting the responsibilities required of you as a landlord.


Having an EICR also means you are more likely to be covered by insurance in the event that you need to claim for any electrical damage. Some insurers even require you to have regular tests carried out on your electrical appliances for this reason. Whether a requirement in your policy or not, having an EICR is a good idea, since it will act as evidence that you have taken the necessary precautions to prevent an electrical fault.

Validity of an EICR Certificate

EICR certificates are valid for 5 years, which is when a new EICR must be carried out. However, there is a misconception that EICRs must be carried out every 5 years or when a new tenant moves in, which is the renewal information listed on some reports. This is not true.

There would be no harm in carrying out an EICR if you have new tenants move in before the 5 years of your current report are up, although this is unnecessary (unless explicitly stated you require one sooner) and would cost you money that you do not need to spend. If you do have new tenants move in within the 5 year validity of your current EICR certificate, then you simply need to provide them with a copy of this.

This issue becomes more serious when you have a new tenant move in after the 5 years of your current EICR are up. If you believe that you don’t need a new EICR until you have new tenants, then you may go longer than any 5 year period before renewing your EICR, which does not comply with the current regulations and requirements. This poses a safety risk to your current tenants as well as a legal risk to you, and you may face penalty fines of up to £30,000.

Failing an EICR

Now that you know what an EICR is and what they entail, what happens if you don’t pass EICR testing?

If your electrical installations come back with unsatisfactory results, then they will be coded in one of four ways:

●     Code 1: Danger Present (FAIL)

●     Code 2: Potentially Dangerous (FAIL)

●     Code 3: Improvement Recommended

●     FI: Further Inspection Required (FAIL)

Code 1 and 2 both require immediate action due to the risk they pose to your tenants. Code 3 does not require any immediate action, since it does not pose a current or potential danger, however it is advised that certain improvements are made. Code 4 requires further investigation of an observation that was made during testing that did not conclusively indicate whether something was wrong or dangerous, hence why it must be additionally inspected (this will be noted as an FI inspection).

If you do fail an EICR test, you will need to take remedial action within 28 days of receiving your EICR certificate. You will then have to provide a copy of the original report along with written confirmation that a qualified professional has remedied the issues to both your tenants and the local council/housing authority, within this given timeframe.

Electrical Companies Near Me

If you are looking for local domestic electricians in London or Harlow, then Sheaworks Ltd is the company you need. We carry out a number of no hassle domestic electrical services, including electrical reports and testing, so you can guarantee the safety of your letting property.

If you require an EICR for your property, or are in need of other electrical services, contact us today. Our team is fully qualified, insured, NICEIC approved and Part P registered.