New Electrical Installation Condition Report Rules July 2020?

by Readers Question

13:36 PM, 15th July 2020
About 2 months ago

New Electrical Installation Condition Report Rules July 2020?

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New Electrical Installation Condition Report Rules July 2020?

I have just had an Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out on a flat I rent out by an NIC approved contractor. The report has come back saying the installation is satisfactory.

The flat has just become vacant and I’m in the process of finding a new tenant. As far as I am aware under the new rules July 2020 a copy of the report has to be given to the new tenant at the start of the tenancy? (Along with gas Inspection, Epc, how to rent etc)?

In box 6 RECOMMENDATIONS of the report it says “I/We recommend that the installation is further inspected and tested by: (Then there is a box for the inspector to input his recommendation) In this box he has put “5 Years or change of tenant or owner”

Although he has put in the report 5 years or change of tenant or owner I am unsure of the new rules? Do the new Electrical safety rules state a new inspection has to be carried out every time there is a change of tenant? I’m not sure if the NIC inspector has added the extra words “or change of tenant or owner just to possibly keep himself in work more frequently? The electrical testing is a nice little earner for them.

I let the flat on a minimum 6 month tenancy. If a tenant moved out after say 8 months does this mean I would now have to have a new inspection done before I could re-let the flat?

I have been browsing the internet trying to find any information if new EICR’s have to be issued with each new tenancy but I can’t find anywhere saying this is the case. All I can find is information saying it should be done no later than 5 years from the previous inspection.

Please let me know your thoughts on this?

Ronnie


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Appcon

19:08 PM, 19th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 18/07/2020 - 11:16As a fully qualified electrical inspector of 16 years, electrical apprentice mentor, and a landlord, I feel that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the coding on DEICR Domestic electrical installation condition reporting, that can be avoided.
If we look at the electrical safety first website Guidance note 4 it gives clear advice and guidance for both Inspectors and clients. This document has been compiled by all the governing bodies associated with electrical safety and compliance.
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/
Generally a correctly fitted and maintained plastic consumer unit is not an issue regarding electrical safety. However, it does pose a greater risk, surrounding fire safety.
Under the afore mention document (Electrical safety first, guidance note 4 best practice guide). It states that a code of C3 (improvement recommended) should be attributed to that observation unless it's showing signs of thermal damage/poor connections and is within a sole route of escape, then a code C2 will apply.
Code C3, Presence of a consumer unit or similar switchgear made from combustible material (e.g. plastic) that is not inside a non- combustible enclosure and which is:
Located under a wooden staircase, or
within a sole route of escape from the premises
(Note: If unsatisfactory connections are found during the inspection, this would warrant a code C2 classification to be recorded)
Of cause, if the improvements are made for example replacing damaged parts then this code will reduce back to a code C3, any remedial work will need to be certificated to satisfy the requirement of the DEICR.
The inspector may notice more issues with the consumer unit, such as Poor IP (ingress protection) rating due to holes in the encloser or unused opening way/cable entries. These would also warrant coding (large holes C2), again these can be rectified.
The law is a bit ambiguous surrounding who can carry out these inspections. In Fact, it says a qualified and competent person. This has opened the door to anyone that says they are competent to conduct inspections. So a lot of companies and sole traders that are advertising cheap DEICR. For a full inspection on a single-bedroom property, it should take between 2.5 to 3.5 hours, unless C1 issues are found such as access to live parts. The inspector should notify the duty holder and then rectify the issue before continuing the inspection.
However, not all registered electricians are trained in inspection and testing, nor are they recognised by their governing bodies to carry them out.
A greater level of knowledge qualifications and experience is needed and additional professional liability insurance.
More annoyingly it is the Landlords responsibility to check the competency of the inspector. if they employ a person that is unqualified or not competent then it's the landlord that will be held liable. So you could find a contractor from a recognised scheme such as NAPIT, NICEIC or ELECSA that is registered but Not competent to carry inspection in the private rented sector.
To counter this problem the Government has extended its Competent persons scheme to include Inspection within the private rented sector.
To be on the scheme the elctrical contactor has been assessed by their governing body to meet the requirements for competency and holds a minimum of £250,000 professtional libilty insurance.
Details for the scheme can be found on https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/
If you choose one of the contractors from this scheme then you can be satisfied that you have complied regarding the competency of your chosen contractor and that they themselves have been audited yearly
Secondly,
If you disagree or feel that the inspector is mistaken in their finding you can contact their governing bodies, for example, the NICEIC and speek with their technical helpline engineers for an independent opinion.
In more serious cases you would be able to compliant directly to their governing body and the senior area engineer would investigate.
So I would always suggest that that you find your contactor through the competent person's electrical scheme and then check if they are on a review site. That way you should get the professional service that you've paid for. And don't be tempted into getting a cheap price for the inspection and paying inflated prices for the remidial work.
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Appcon

19:12 PM, 19th July 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 18/07/2020 - 11:16
As a fully qualified electrical inspector of 16 years, electrical apprentice mentor, and a landlord, I feel that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the coding on DEICR Domestic electrical installation condition reporting, that can be avoided.

If we look at the electrical safety first website Guidance note 4 it gives clear advice and guidance for both Inspectors and clients. This document has been compiled by all the governing bodies associated with electrical safety and compliance.
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/

Generally a correctly fitted and maintained plastic consumer unit is not an issue regarding electrical safety. However, it does pose a greater risk, surrounding fire safety.
Under the afore mention document (Electrical safety first, guidance note 4 best practice guide). It states that a code of C3 (improvement recommended) should be attributed to that observation unless it's showing signs of thermal damage/poor connections and is within a sole route of escape, then a code C2 will apply.

Code C3, Presence of a consumer unit or similar switchgear made from combustible material (e.g. plastic) that is not inside a non- combustible enclosure and which is:
Located under a wooden staircase, or
within a sole route of escape from the premises
(Note: If unsatisfactory connections are found during the inspection, this would warrant a code C2 classification to be recorded)

Of cause, if the improvements are made for example replacing damaged parts then this code will reduce back to a code C3, any remedial work will need to be certificated to satisfy the requirement of the DEICR.

The inspector may notice more issues with the consumer unit, such as Poor IP (ingress protection) rating due to holes in the encloser or unused opening way/cable entries. These would also warrant coding (large holes C2), again these can be rectified.

The law is a bit ambiguous surrounding who can carry out these inspections. In Fact, it says a qualified and competent person. This has opened the door to anyone that says they are competent to conduct inspections. So a lot of companies and sole traders that are advertising cheap DEICR. For a full inspection on a single-bedroom property, it should take between 2.5 to 3.5 hours, unless C1 issues are found such as access to live parts. The inspector should notify the duty holder and then rectify the issue before continuing the inspection.

However, not all registered electricians are trained in inspection and testing, nor are they recognised by their governing bodies to carry them out.
A greater level of knowledge qualifications and experience is needed and additional professional liability insurance.
More annoyingly it is the Landlords responsibility to check the competency of the inspector. if they employ a person that is unqualified or not competent then it's the landlord that will be held liable. So you could find a contractor from a recognised scheme such as NAPIT, NICEIC or ELECSA that is registered but Not competent to carry inspection in the private rented sector.

To counter this problem the Government has extended its Competent persons scheme to include Inspection within the private rented sector.
To be on the scheme the elctrical contactor has been assessed by their governing body to meet the requirements for competency and holds a minimum of £250,000 professtional libilty insurance.
Details for the scheme can be found on https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/

If you choose one of the contractors from this scheme then you can be satisfied that you have complied regarding the competency of your chosen contractor and that they themselves have been audited yearly

Secondly,
If you disagree or feel that the inspector is mistaken in their finding you can contact their governing bodies, for example, the NICEIC and speek with their technical helpline engineers for an independent opinion.
In more serious cases you would be able to compliant directly to their governing body and the senior area engineer would investigate.

So I would always suggest that that you find your contactor through the competent person's electrical scheme and then check if they are on a review site. That way you should get the professional service that you've paid for. And don't be tempted into getting a cheap price for the inspection and paying inflated prices for the remidial work.
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Dave S

16:50 PM, 13th August 2020
About a month ago

I have just had an EICR carried out on one of my apartments which was built around 2002. The electrical contractor has marked it unsatisfactory (C2) because there is no RCD fitted. Whilst I appreciate the benefits of an RCD there was no requirement at the time of installation everything passes but he is saying it doesn't meet current 18th Edition Regulations and needs the consumer unit changing (at a cost of £895 plus the £150 already charged for test) does anyone know if this is a legal requirement to update or is he just trying gain some work from me in my mind this should have been marked satisfactory with a C3 which is an advisory to fit an RCD. I would probably have this done at the next refurbishment but I don't like being scammed into having something I don't have to have at this time. Anybody got any advise ?

david porter

17:14 PM, 13th August 2020
About a month ago

I am being asked to upgrade a house to Install gas bonding. It this part of the regulations or is it just something to make the ecectrician rich?

Old Mrs Landlord

23:13 PM, 13th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Mervin SX at 16/07/2020 - 09:13
A plastic fuse box is much more dangerous in an understair cupboard where it can smoulder away unobserved until it sets the staircase alight, trapping anyone who may be asleep upstairs and filling all exit routes with smoke. I too remember that the push to replace metal fuse boxes with the "safer" plastic ones came after at least one incidence of serious electric shock or possibly electrocution from a metal box.

Adrian Atkins

23:18 PM, 13th August 2020
About a month ago

Gas bonding is a requirement. it should have been reported on your Gas Safety inspection, so appears that there is something not quite right with one of the inspections, either the electrical one or the gas one. I used to do both, as an inspector for gas and electrical installations. If you have the time, i would question both and try to determine who is right. unfortunately not all inspections are thorough, or competent, or conscientious - but sadly that is true in all professions - plumbers, electricians, lawyers, politicians, bus drivers. Try to establish a loyal relationship with an electrician and a gas guy, works both ways.

UKPN

23:31 PM, 13th August 2020
About a month ago

The problem is quite simply, is people quoting, eicr, (it's a report) electrical guide books, trade associations Niceic etc. What use are they? This scheme has only been going a month and what a mess. Too many cooks, "electricians" who don't know the difference between a C1 and a C2. I feel sorry for the guy who has a report back telling him "5 years or change of tenancy" . Really? what if they are short term let's, 1 month. This needs to be sorted out, so many flaws.

Appcon

9:11 AM, 14th August 2020
About a month ago

Hi Dave S,
As a fully qualified electrical inspector for over 16 years, I feel I can offer you some correct advise.
The need for RCDs is not a simple answer, the inspector needs to use an engineering decision.
The new law refers to the meeting 18th edition, in fact is not the case. If we look at the 18th edition wiring regulations under the heading periodic inspection and testing it is only 1 page with 3 sections ( general, frequency and reporting).
In the first section General it states, that a periodic inspection and test is required to determine, so far as reasonably practicable, whether the installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service.
It doesn’t say that the installation needs to meet the current edition.
The inspector should refer to IET guidance note 3 inspection and testing this has over 140 pages on inspection and testing.
The IET (institution of engineering and technology) write and publish the wiring regulations, so in fact this is the document the inspector should refer to.

The use of RCD protection is required for almost all circuits within a Domestic property under the 18th edition, however this was not case under previous editions.

As far as DEICR are concerned ( fit for continued use),
RCD are required for (C2).
Socket outlets that can supply portable equipment outside.
Where disconnection times can’t be met via the protective device.
For equipment as specified by the manufacturer (for example an electric shower).
On circuits supplying bathrooms without additional protective bonding.

There are of course other Circumstances where an RCD would be required, however it is an engineering decision.

The need for RCDs for cables buried in the walls less than 50mm and for luminaries would be A C3 improvement recommend.

If you need clarification on whether RCDs are needed and what codes to give I would suggest looking at the electrical safety first website and refer to their best practice guide 4. This is also a good reference, as it’s been produced by all of the governing bodies, I’ve included this link in my previous comments.

Again please don’t use the cheapest company to conduct the condition report, use one from the Governments own website competent person scheme electrical. I have included the link in my previous comments. As all the inspectors are qualified and registered to conduct the reporting in the private rented sector. You them will be able to raise a complaint if you feel that the inspector has made a mistake in their findings.

Dave S

9:34 AM, 14th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Appcon at 14/08/2020 - 09:11
Hi appcom thanks for your response

The apartment is on the 10th floor so will not have anything used outside

I have asked around 5 electrical contractors and most (but not all) are saying the RCD or lack of should be a C3 rather than C2 because it was built in 2002 and there was no need to have one fitted then. If it wasn’t dangerous then why should it be now

I am also waiting a reply from the niceic

Don’t get me wrong I always like to do things properly and certainly don’t just go for the cheapest everytime and this is something I would get done during a major refiirb even if it turns out to be just recommended rather than mandatory

I am just a bit annoyed because the agents sourced the electrician to do the eicr and they have quoted me nearly £900 to replace the consumer unit (a 6 or 8 way from memory) and the agents are effectively holding me to ransom saying my new tennant can’t move in until the work is done and I risk losing my tennant if I dont get the work done

UKPN

9:43 AM, 14th August 2020
About a month ago

£900 for a fuse board!!!!! Screwfix sell a 10 way board £67.99 Inc vat as we speak. 4 hours max @ £30 per hour, where's my pocket calculator?

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