EICR certificate

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by PurpleRoses123, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Hello

    I am a tennant renting privately and the electrics were recently inspected.
    The certificate issued in the first instance did not show the name of the inspector, only the QS.
    As I have an on going case with the council Housing Standards team this was reported to them.
    They requested that the QS attended the property, which he did. He was here no more than 5 minutes and looked over the fuse box with the Inspector. He never left my hallway, didn't enter any other rooms.

    He also assured me a new certificate would be issued showing both names.
    The second certificate which I have finally received today, is just as before...there is only one name on there!

    The concern I have is that the inspector himself was very young, not saying he wasn't qualified but he was in and out in under an hour. This is a huge 3 bed terrace victorian house. I was undergoing the impression that the whole process would take 2/3 hours.

    He also totally missed the cooker extractor fan and several faulty sockets.

    I asked at the time, to him, his supervisor, my landlord and housing if I could have his qualifications/registration details. No one will offer them to me.

    The new landlord (property in middle of a sale) is insisting the certificate is fine and approved by housing standards.

    Housing standards are happy that they have a "satisfactory" certificate signed by a registered electrician and cannot take any further action. They just tell me that whoever has signed it will be in court if anything goes wrong. (That doesn't sit well with me, bit too late once my children are harmed isn't it!).

    Anyway, they say the only thing I can do is raise it with NICEIC.... but they won't take a complaint from me because I did not instruct the work.

    So it would seem that the new legislation enforcing landlords to have electrics inspected every 5 years has a massive loophole.

    They are paying for work on the cheap, signed off by another tradesman willing to sign. The council are powerless and the tennant just has to accept it.

    Is there anything I can do?

    Is it perfectly OK for someone else to sign saying they have completed an inspection when they haven't?

    Any advice welcome
    Thank you
     
  2. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Difficult one. Possibly commission your own report and use that to compel the landlord to make the necessary repairs and try to get council to help? Not easy

    else just move on elsewhere
     
  3. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Nothing in theory wrong in only one signature, as a sole trader i can only do one!!, and it often happens in lager firms that the QS or PDH (principle duty holder) signs for the collective firm.

    The bigger issue is that quite clearly the inspection cannot have been done correctly in the time, and would appear not to have been.

    The issue is the government made this requirement, didn't delay it for covid, and the electrical trade is struggling to keep up. As contractors most of us have had the busiest year for decades, many thirty something, experienced sparks are leaving the shackles of a big firm and going it alone.

    As a consequence, these larger firms are often understaffed and taking on younger, less experienced electricians who are being told to just bash out these inspections one after the other.

    Consequence, poor work, teed of customers and bemused tennents.

    At the end of the day the dear old NICEIC (or other scheme operator, all the same) won't do anything for you, they work for their customers, the trade, their own coffers and only occasionally for the consumer.

    As Jonathan alludes too, you have a few options, none really good

    1/- Pay for your own, comprehensive EICR
    2/- Take it up with the landlord as a concern
    3/- Move
     
  4. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    The new law says an EICR must be done by a “qualified person” which means a person competent to undertake the inspection and testing required under regulation 3(1) and any further investigative or remedial work in accordance with the electrical safety standards; and the regulations are BS 7671:2018, however the regulations state that they apply to installations designed after a given date, and so one is redirected to the version in use at the time the installation was designed, so it is in real terms hard to say what is allowed, but the codes used are C1 = dangerous, C2 = potentially dangerous and FI = further investigation required for a fail, it is not like an MOT where there is a reasonable fixed standard, there was years ago a code 4 which said would not comply if wired to current edition, but this was dropped, and it is permitted to just test a sample, nothing in the rules for doing an EICR says you must test or inspect all, the inspector is permitted to use his judgement.

    The law and the EICR do not really work together, the guide for doing an EICR says it is for the installation, and does not include the inspection and testing of in-service electrical equipment, but it does include the inspection of the DNO equipment, but the laws say it does not include the DNO equipment and it does include any in-service electrical equipment which is not designed to be moved on a regular basis, so would include extractor fans, immersion heaters, and could even include washing machine for example, but the government guide says it does not include the likes of washing machines, so in real terms no one really knows what it should include.

    There have fortunately been very few court cases, I say fortunately as it only really comes to court when some one dies, and as far as I am aware non about the issuing of an EICR, but the EIC (electrical installation certificate) is nearly the same, and the one that sticks in the mind is the Emma Shaw case, with that case the foreman was found guilty for using unskilled labour, but I have taken my qualifications to an interview, but never been asked to write them down on any form.

    I could write Fdeng behind my name, but although it says I have an engineering degree, it does not say in what, it was in electrical and electronic engineering, but same letters used for motor vehicle degree, so it means nothing, and until past level 3 you don't get letters behind your name, so there is nothing to say if I have my C&G 2391 or not on the EICR form.

    For the inspection and testing of in-service electrical equipment there are two exams, one to manage the paperwork and one to do the testing, but with the EICR there is only one exam so would only expect one signature.

    As it stands I can wander through a house and then sign to say inspected, I would want to test some sockets, and take enough readings to complete the standard form, but there is nothing to say I need to work out if we have a spur from a spur, and to be frank the C&G 2391 exam practical was on a demo board, and took an hour to complete, if I did same level of tests in a house it would take days to complete, so we use the sample idea, test and inspect 10% if anything fails expend to 30%, if more fails expand to 100% or give a FI code, clearly if some thing has failed which requires a re-wire it is pointless to continue.

    So as it stands we don't even know if a RCD is required, with seat belts in cars there is a cut off date and before that date seat belts are not required, no seat belts in a Stanley Steamer. But with the home if designed in 20th century then there is nothing to say is RCD's are required for TN installations, and even with TT a 100 mA version is likely OK.

    This is not unusual for laws, there is a basic law, then there is case law which says what courts have decided and that becomes law, but for there to be case law, there has to be court cases, so there has been a court case about EIC but not as far as I know EICR, the LABC can rule on some items, but their ruling does not become case law, so for case law to happen, some one needs to have died.

    The new landlord law is silly, as it does not say what passes and what fails, in the main the problem is inspectors failing things that should really pass, but as far as health and safety goes there were laws before the new landlord law which covered it all anyway.

    But it will always be a bit of a compromise, if my supply to this PC trips, my freezers will continue to work, but reverse is also true, if the freezer supply trips I would be unaware it had tripped until I walked into kitchen. A freezer full of food is not cheap, so consider what you wish for.
     
  5. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Thank you. This is the trouble, so many repairs but I can't just move on. I'm on disability benefits and no other agents will take me on. I don't have a guarantor (no family) and I'm a single mum been on council waiting list for years.
    If I could move I would.

    They fitted a new fuse box which was just a single RCD added to the old set up.
    The oven kept tripping it out and because only 1 RCD the whole house kept going off.

    Other tradesmen I know of (friends of friends) have all agreed how poor standard it is and the man at the council doesn't seem to have a clue!

    I've sent him loads of legislation and regs.
    I've contacted local MP now to see of they can help.
     
  6. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I feel for you, having a child may help in terms of getting action from an MP / housing officer on safety grounds
     
  7. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Many thanks for the reply. The more opinions I cam gather the better.
     
  8. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Wow thank you for all the info. It's much appreciated!
    I'm prepared to be told its just the way it is but as with a lot of things in life it doesn't make it fair.
    I've been here 10 years and never missed a payment.
     
  9. Bazza-spark

    Bazza-spark Screwfix Select

  10. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    I felt as a parent when my son then 14 back in 1992 I think became a radio ham, that to protect him I should fit RCD's, he has returned the favour and fitted 14 RCBO's in my new house, but as to if required that is another story.

    I had a disabled mother, who was suffering from macular degeneration and dementia who in a house without RCD's put an extension lead in a bucket of water as she saw the red neon and thought it was on fire. I could not get the house re-wired fast enough, and we did have issues with the council over her care, so I understand the problems getting things done, lucky it was her house and I did have the money.

    However the council also did do a lot for her, for example a new kitchen, and this was also a problem as the council did not clearly want to spend money and then find she had moved into a care home.
     
  11. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Just to update.

    As I said before the house is in the process of being sold (it actually belongs to my brother in law and he's selling to a property developer friend who owns tons of houses and does new builds).

    As communication has broken down due to repairs and council involvement the letting agent owned by the new owner have taken over managing the property. They will continue to manage it after the sale also.

    Anyway, today they sent an electrician to replace a faulty socket behind my washing machine.

    Totally different person and totally independent of the situation. I purposely did not say anything first off because I wanted to see his reaction to the installations.

    Low and behold he looks shocked at the state of the plasterwork and wiring behind the washer. He then asks me where the fuseboard is.

    He goes to the hallway and comes back saying "do you have another box somewhere else? Is this all you've got?" He looked confused.

    I then explained everything to him and he agreed that the inspector can't possibly have done a proper job.
    He was very shocked and on his way out he asked if he could take a photo of the fuse box. He had never seen it set up like that before.

    I will of course report all this to Housing Standards and my MP. I am really hoping the the MP will have the power to override the council and insist on commissioning a new EICR. Also hoping she will be able to lodge a complaint to NICEIC on my behalf.

    In the event that the new landlord has to pay for this then I am assuming they will have grounds of a case against the current landlord for false representation. They are buying a house on the assumption that all relevant checks and paperwork are in order.
     
  12. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    I doubt it. The vendor will hand over the certificate but will not warrant its accuracy. The person completing the certificate has no liability to third parties ( the purchaser) so the purchaser will not be able to claim off anyone.

    Your MP has not power to override a council. That’s not how democracy works!

    you need to commission your own electrician to produce a report on the issues and then use civil procedures to compel the landlord to make repairs
     
  13. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    It's not about the MP overiding the council, I know perfectly well about democracy.

    It's about the MP applying pressure on them to do their job properly.

    As soon as I mentioned it the housing standards team are now wanting to visit. It's taken 5 months but now MP is mentioned they are pulling their finger out.

    Housing Standards have the power to issue an improvement notice on the landlord. As I said to them, almost 6 months of them chasing the landlord has resulted in nothing being done. It's about time a notice was served.

    The council also assured me that they would investigate the credentials of the electrical inspector but since his name has not been published on the certificate they are just leaving it at that.

    The procedures they are following are not right according to their own policies. Hence local MP, it's the next step.
     
  14. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    And in what way does the person who completed the certificate have no liability?

    I am a third party, I am the tennant. I've already been told if there was a fire/injury then the man named on the certificate would be liable.
     
  15. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Landlords are advised to use contractors who are listed on the electrical competent persons register as able to undertake an electrical safety report. https://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/

    However it is the firm that is registered not the individual inspectors. If the firm that carried out your inspection is registered the Local Authority should accept it.

    If the firm/inspector is not registered (and there is no requirement to be) then the landlord who commissioned the report will need to produce evidence showing the competency of the inspectors..
     
  16. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    This is the problem and the law needs changing. The firm are registered with NICEIC but not the actual Inspector.

    Council have to accept it. Landlord got the work done cheap, by a friend in the trade, landlord happy.

    Tennant has no come back. Only has to hope that nothing goes wrong.

    I may not own the house but I do pay rent and I have a right to expect basics such as electricity are maintained properly.

    If it was the gas boiler serviced in this way it would be unacceptable.
    I can't think of any other industry where personal liability isn't a thing.
    I used to work in a place where if I didnt report a safety risk I could be personally prosecuted, not just the company I worked for.
     
  17. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    Not quite. If serious injury or damage occurs at a later date any EICR or other certifications would be examined as part of an investigation. It would then be necessary to present to a court that the specific injury/damage was an avoidable consequence of the action of the inspector and that the inspector was competent to carry out the report, if liability is to attributed.
     
  18. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Yes I understand what you're saying but my point is that the way the industry works is allowing a dangerous loophole.

    If a firm is allowed to certify the work of an employee then surely that employee must be competent and have the evidence to prove that.

    If something goes wrong then the onus is on the company to demonstrate that they did everything in their power to prevent it.

    Something is clearly amiss when I ask several times for the credentials of the Inspector and I'm ignored. They won't even write his name on there. If he's competent why didn't he sign to say so with a counter signature from the QS...as the form is designed to show.

    It makes no sense and as a PP said, with all this new law about 5 yearly inspections and companies having to churn them out to meet a deadline, it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong.

    Landlords are renowned for doing patch up jobs, why replace a shower cubicle when you can just install another shower over the bath? Old cubicle stood redundant. (another issue I live with)

    But come on, electrics??? No one should cut corners where they are concerned, same for gas.
     
  19. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    It is not a loophole. It is just the way the law works. A company is a legal entity and can be prosecuted in the same way as an individual can.
    Many in the industry support and lobby for individual assessment and registration of electricians. However this is not the way it currently works. The trade body NAPIT does list all operatives of a member company on their website but not all electrical trade bodies do this.
    We all have to admit this is a bit of a mess and very confusing to the people the schemes are meant to protect, but the current legislation is, as with all legislation, a compromise of competing and conflicting interests.
     
  20. PurpleRoses123

    PurpleRoses123 New Member

    Yes I agree it's very confusing.

    There should just be a single governing body and a register like the GasSafe Register.

    Sure it would make life much simpler for all concerned.
     

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