EICR reports and Distribution Boards?

by Readers Question

9:40 AM, 7th September 2020
About 3 weeks ago

EICR reports and Distribution Boards?

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EICR reports and Distribution Boards?

I have had EICR reports prepared for 2 flats and both of them say that the Electrical Distribution Boards need to be moved although they are both accessible with a small step ladder. I have also had other things that need further investigation, like the location of the ‘supply head’, which I have never been asked for before and can’t easily find it.

Another electrician has said that some things in the report (such as moving the Distribution Boards) aren’t things he would have classed as urgent or immediate to be done.

Is there a definitive guide for Landlords to understand what the EICR requires or can anyone offer any advice?

I want to comply with the regulations but don’t necessarily trust all the advice given.

Many thanks

Niki


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Comments

Ron H-W

12:20 PM, 7th September 2020
About 3 weeks ago

As for moving the boards, check the "code" against the problem, on the report.
Code "C3" IS satisfactory, it's simply something they need to point out, like the "advisory" items you may find mentioned on the M.O.T. for your car.
If it's "C1" or "C2", ask why, and consider using a different person in future.

As for the 'supply head' if he was competent he wouldn't have had to ask - just switch off the boards (and anything else he can find), then check for "induced voltage" to trace the cabling back from the board/s to any splitter and eventually to the head. If this is "blocked in" by something immovable, it is likely that you'll be asked to make changes to enable access - which is probably a good idea: what happens if there is a major short-circuit which blows the supplier's fuse?
Also bear in mind that the supplier or the D.N.O. OUGHT to be able to tell you where the "head" is.

(Disclaimer - I am not professionally qualified in this field.)

Andrew

12:26 PM, 7th September 2020
About 3 weeks ago

It does sound like something is amiss with your electrician

Can I direct you to this article and associated video on Property118 to help with answering your question and understanding what is and isnt acceptable.

https://www.property118.com/myth-busting-electrical-safety-installations-act-2020/

I would from what you have written say that position being a little too high is not in itself a C2 or a C1 and should also not be a C3 but there may be mitigating factors not disclosed.

Seething Landlord

15:02 PM, 7th September 2020
About 3 weeks ago

These regulations are becoming a nightmare.
They impose strict time limits within which landlords must implement C1 or C2 recommendations but make no provision for postponing action if there are grounds for challenging the findings.
There is also the requirement to send a copy of any report with C1 or C2 findings to the Local Housing Authority with confirmation that the issues have been dealt with within 28 days, again with no exemption even if the findings are successfully challenged.

The only solution that I can see is to agree in advance with the electrician that he will advise you of any issues before preparing the report.

Amjed

15:12 PM, 13th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

A lot of useful information. I have a flat in Birmingham and my lettings agent is charging £320 to arrange a check. Can anyone recommend an electrician in the Birmingham area that is reasonably priced.

The Secret Landlord

6:37 AM, 14th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Amjed at 13/09/2020 - 15:12
£320 is crazy, it's costing me £120-150 in London. I don't know Birmingham but try www checkatrade or just call another agent, pretend to be an owner occupier and ask for a recommendation for a sparky.

Jireh Homes

14:44 PM, 14th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Cost for EICR will vary depending on the size of the property and local market. In our area charges range £100 - £150 (plus VAT where VAT registered).

Paul Shears

8:48 AM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 07/09/2020 - 15:02
"There is also the requirement to send a copy of any report with C1 or C2 findings to the Local Housing Authority with confirmation that the issues have been dealt with within 28 days, again with no exemption even if the findings are successfully challenged."

Thanks for that advice Seething Landlord! I was unaware of that requirement.
Rather than challenge my failed EICR report, I have employed another qualified electrician to "rectify" the "supposed" issues and issue a small works certificate which refers to the requirements of the EICR report. It seems to me that as long as I issue these completed documents to my proposed tenants and, from what you say, to my local council, I am covered.
Does anyone concur or disagree?

Seething Landlord

12:04 PM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 16/09/2020 - 08:48
Don't rely on what I say but the Regulations, quoted below, refer to having the work carried out by "a qualified person". As far as I can see there is no requirement to have the work done by the same person who prepared the report but note that the 28 days within which the work must be completed starts with the date of the inspection and testing.

Also note that the written confirmation that the work has been carried out must include a statement that the electrical safety standards are met so a bit of a grey area - a different electrician might be reluctant to state this without carrying out a further complete test of the installation. Perhaps the electricians amongst us could say what they think about this.

"(4) Where a report under sub-paragraph (3)(a) indicates that a private landlord is or is potentially in breach of the duty under sub-paragraph (1)(a) and the report requires the private landlord to undertake further investigative or remedial work, the private landlord must ensure that further investigative or remedial work is carried out by a qualified person within—
(a)
28 days; or
(b)
the period specified in the report if less than 28 days,
starting with the date of the inspection and testing.
(5) Where paragraph (4) applies, a private landlord must—
(a)
obtain written confirmation from a qualified person that the further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that—
(i)
the electrical safety standards are met; or
(ii)
further investigative or remedial work is required;
(b)
supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report under sub-paragraph (3)(a) which required the further investigative or remedial work to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work; and
(c)
supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report under sub-paragraph (3)(a) which required the further investigative or remedial work to the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work"

To understand the definitions and references to other sections you need to refer to the full Regulations, available here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/contents/made

The Explanatory Memorandum and Guide for Landlords are also relevant but it is the Regulations themselves that are definitive of the law:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/memorandum/contents
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities/guide-for-landlords-electrical-safety-standards-in-the-private-rented-sector

Paul Shears

12:44 PM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 16/09/2020 - 12:04
Thanks very much indeed.
So it looks like I may have to get the original electrician to issue a new "compliant" certificate or to amend the original one.
I can already see a re-test feed approaching from him and what the excuse might be.

Seething Landlord

13:09 PM, 16th September 2020
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 16/09/2020 - 12:44Too late for you this time round but I have already commented elsewhere that the only sensible solution I can see is to reach an understanding with your electrician about how any issues that arise are to be dealt with before instructing him in the first place, ideally getting him to agree to tell you about anything that might attract a C1, C2 or FI code before preparing his report so that it can be discussed and sorted without appearing in the report. It might mean you being on site during the inspection, but could save a load of hassle. Probably easier said than done but worth a try.

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