EICRs are set to become a major talking point for property managers across the UK in the coming months. Fixflo interviewed Lee Rix, Director of Business Development at Eco Approach, and Dean Falvey, Fixflo's Network Manager, about why property managers need to book their EICRs now. We also spoke to them about the potential short supply of contractors in 2025 and 2026, as property managers book in their EICRs. 

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Demand for EICRs set to rise

The following graph illustrates the anticipated rise in demand for EICR services over the next four years. As renewal deadlines approach, demand is expected to peak in 2026. 

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There are currently around 4.6 million residential rental properties in the UK. To complete all EICRs in one year, 12,602 would need to be completed daily. 

If this were to be stretched across two years, it would be 6,301 every day. 

Fixflo's Dean Falvey explained that the chart does not even represent the total amount of work for electricians. All of the other reasons a tenant or landlord would call on an electrician would still exist, creating a larger job volume. For example, with the increased awareness of Net Zero, there is a large focus on electric vehicle charging points and solar installations, which are creating more work for electricians. 

What is an EICR?

An EICR is a detailed inspection of the electrical installations at a rental property. The inspection identifies any damage, deterioration, defects or dangerous conditions within the electrical system. The electrician provides an assessment of the overall condition and safety of the electrics. The resulting report is a vital record of the state of the electrics at a property when it was taken and can help you understand and predict issues in the years to come. 

What are electrical installations?

These include the cabling, often hidden inside the property's walls and ceilings, accessories like sockets and light fittings, and consumer units like fuse boxes or distribution boards. These can include fuses, residual current devices (RCD), and circuit breakers.


EICR grades

EICR reports examine each circuit and electrical installation in a property. Those considered a risk will be listed as observations and given an individual grade. 

They are as follows:

Danger present. These are immediately threatening to life, which means they should either be rectified immediately or the power should be cut. This could apply to exposed live wires, for example. 

Potentially dangerous. This has an allowance of 28 days to be rectified. For example, if an RCD doesn't trip in time. 

Improvement recommended. These are problems that could become larger issues by the next EICR report. 

Further investigation required without delay. For example, if the reading comes back as non-optimal but the contractor doesn't have time to investigate the cause thoroughly. 

If any installation or installations within the property are given a C1, C2, or Code FI grade, then the property as a whole will be given an unsatisfactory report. If the property is deemed unsatisfactory, the landlord is legally obliged to complete remedial works within 28 days. 

If no observations or only C3 observations are made, the property will be given a satisfactory report and no further action is legally required. 

Are you concerned about the EICR crisis? Learn more on why and how you should renew your EICRs now. 


What are the legal requirements of an EICR?

A valid EICR must be supplied to the tenants within 28 days of the inspection or within seven days if the local housing authority requests it. This is policed by local authorities. 

How much will I be fined if I don't get my EICR done in time?

You could face a maximum fine of up to £30,000 for non-compliance.

Who can carry out an EICR?

It must be carried out by a qualified electrician registered with a government-approved scheme, such as the Electrical Safety Register, National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), or the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT). 

How much does an EICR cost?

The cost of an EICR certificate can depend on the size of your property and the age of the electrics. It can also change depending on the region. 

For example, a property with up to 10 circuits would cost around £160-170 plus VAT. 

How often do I need to do an EICR?

In 2021, it became mandatory for all properties to undergo an EICR, which must be updated every one to five years, depending on the installation's age, condition, and usage. This means there will be a significant spike in EICR due dates in 2025 and 2026.

What happens during an EICR inspection?

The electrician will examine the electrical installations in the building by carrying out a visual inspection, which involves checking for cracks and signs of overheating. This will be followed by electrical testing, in which currents and voltages are used to determine whether different circuits are safe. 

How long does the inspection take?

An inspection usually takes one to four hours, depending on the accessibility of the electrical systems, the size of the property, and the number of pieces of equipment. 

What are remedial works?

Remedial work is carried out after an EICR inspection flags issues. This work should make the building safe and qualify for a satisfactory EICR. 

It can either be done immediately after the inspection, or the electrician will schedule another date to return and complete the work. This can be dependent on the grade the problem registers as.


Why should I renew my EICRs now?

The demand for EICRs will spike in 2026 – at which point it will be incredibly difficult to obtain an electrician to carry out these works. However, this doesn't mean those with deadlines in 2025 are off the hook, with an ongoing ramping up of demand throughout the next two years. 

"If I were an agent dealing with landlords, I'd be screaming and shouting about this now,” PropCert’s Lee Rix told us. "A little bit of effort now will save you a lot of headaches later. Save yourself the stress." 

Persuade your landlords to arrange EICRs this year with our customisable flyer.

Meeting the contractor demand in the past

The first reforms for EICRs took effect in 2020, with a deadline for new tenancies to be completed that year and existing tenancies to have undertaken the work by 2021. This meant that all properties in the UK had to have a valid EICR by April 2021, which caused a scramble to get labour in the run-up to that. Lee felt the industry was not prepared in 2020 and with little warning, the announcement was dropped on property managers.

Lee said: "There were people cutting corners, sample testing, doing visual inspections only. Though landlords did mobilise and get this done, did they do it right the first time? Was the person acting in their best interests and with the right technical element, or are we going to start unpicking those as we go? It is a lot more expensive to right these wrongs."

He continued: "We currently do over 1,000 EICRs a month here [at PropCert]. A high percentage of that is rental properties, and the fail rate of EICRs is a bit higher on the rental side of it. It is because landlords don't want to stump up an investment [to do this]." 

Watch our webinar on why letting agents and landlords should renew EICRs in 2024.

Meeting the contractor demand now

This time, there will be little to no leeway for compliance deadlines. Dean explained that there would likely be common themes in the remedial works coming back. 

"What we're concerned about now is if everyone jumped through those hoops and ran around screaming to find an electrician who could do their EICR five years ago, we're going to have an exact repeat of that unless agents can be that conduit between landlords and the contractors to pre-plan this a bit better," Lee said.

Dean added: "There was also a real influx of tradespeople who didn't have the right qualifications to complete EICRs. That places real risks on landlords and letting agents, and we're going into this renewal period with all of these experiences gained four years ago. The key is what we do with that knowledge now and move it forward."

He listed three risks:

  • Capacity — property managers may not meet compliance requirements if they struggle with that. 
  • Enforcement —there will be a different level of enforcement this time. 
  • Procrastination — there could be procrastination around this.

What do I need to do?

Be aware of this problem and get ahead. Establish good communication with your landlord as they have the tools to deliver this and make it a non-event. 

Want more help? Fixflo's Contractor Marketplace works as a back-pocket tool to help with this. 

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