EICR in progress with an example of an unsatisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Electrical Installation Condition Report Unsatisfactory? A Complete Guide for Domestic Customers and Private Landlords

Electrical Installation Condition Report Unsatisfactory? A Complete Guide for Domestic Customers and Private Landlords

As well as emergency electricians we conduct electrical safety tests – otherwise known as Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs) – on both domestic and commercial electrical installations.  As a qualified NICEIC approved electrician with more than 20 years experience, I’ve personally seen it all. From pristine new builds to older properties with some pretty hair-raising wiring. Today, I’m here to guide you through what happens and what you need to do if your electrical installation report comes back as unsatisfactory. This is guidance for domestic installations and not for commercial and industrial installations. 

Understanding the EICR Report

What is an EICR Report?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is essentially a health check for your property’s electrical system. Think of it as an MOT for your wiring, sockets, and fuse board. The goal is to ensure everything is safe and up to standard. During an EICR, a qualified electrician like myself will do a comprehensive inspection of the condition of your electrical installations to identify any issues that need addressing.

Why is an EICR Report Necessary?

For landlords, an EICR is now a legal requirement. In June 2020 a new legislation came into force requiring all landlords to have their electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested. And this has to be repeated every 5 years to ensure the safety of tennents. Landlords must also ensure that they provide copies of the report to existing tenants as well as the local authority within 7 days of the test being carried out. 

EICRs are not a legal requirement for homeowners. However if you’re looking to buy a house (particularly if it’s an older property), I recommend requesting one from the vendors or organising your own. Without an EICR you won’t know the state of the electrics and how much it’ll cost to put it right. 

Even if you aren’t looking to buy or sell your property, we recommend all homeowners to get an EICR at least once every ten years, because they can help protect your family.  ECIRs are essential for the following reasons: 

Safety : Faulty electrical systems can cause fires, shocks, and other hazards. Find out more about preventing electrical fires.

Legal Compliance: For landlords, regular EICRs are a legal requirement to ensure tenant safety.

Peace of Mind: Knowing your electrical systems are safe lets you sleep easy.

How is an EICR Inspection Conducted?

When I conduct an EICR, I systematically check your entire electrical system. We use a piece of software called EasyCert for our reporting so that we can export it as a PDF and then send it over to the customer.

Here’s a quick rundown of what happens:

1. Visual Inspection

During the test I will look for obvious issues like broken sockets or exposed wiring. A visual inspection also helps us to estimate the age of the wiring system, based on the colours, or if it’s really old, it might be older-style cable with smaller CPCs or earth in them. 

2. Known Issues

Sometimes an EICR will be carried out for specific reasons. For example we tested a property recently after responding to an electrical emergency call-out where there had been an electrical fire. The fire started because the customer was using non-fire-rated downlights with very hot-running halogen lamps in there, and the customer had put in insulation without any sort of fire hood or replacing the fittings for fire-rated fittings. It had burned out some of the cabling so we recommended a condition report to check the rest of the property. 

3. Electrical Testing

I perform various tests to check the integrity of your circuits and ensure everything is functioning correctly. Including: 

  • Continuity tests: to make sure that there’s no breaks in the any of the conductors
  • Insulation resistance tests: to make sure that the insulation on the cables is still good
  • Earth fault loop impedance tests: Checks the path that any fault current would take in the event of a fault to make sure that the disconnection times are within parameters
  • RCD tests: This checks the function of any residual current devices to make sure that they trip within the required times
  • Polarity Tests: Ensures the wiring has been done in the correct way; that live is live, neutral is neutral and earth is earth. 

4. Report

As I mentioned, we use EasyCert to compile comprehensive Electrical Installation condition reports. The result of your report will either be ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Unsatisfactory’ and our reports include all of the details of inspections, finding and recommendations. Here’s what you can expect to find in our reports: 

  • Details of the property
  • Date the test was conducted
  • The overall result
  • Summary of test conducted 
  • Summary of visual inspections and observations
  • Test results and recommended actions

The aim of the report is to provide customers with a much better understanding of the condition of their electrical installation and what needs to be done to bring it up to standard.

Interpreting Your EICR Report

Electrical Installation Condition Report satisfactory: What Does It mean?

A satisfactory EICR report means your electrical installation is in good shape. There are no immediate safety concerns, and you can rest assured that your property is safe. You’ll receive a report with any minor recommendations (coded as C3), which are not urgent but worth considering for future improvements. Landlords should book another report within 5 years and homeowners should repeat EICR every 10 years.

Electrical Installation Condition Report Unsatisfactory: What Does It mean? 

An unsatisfactory report means there are issues that need fixing to ensure safety. These issues are classified using the following codes:

C1 (Danger Present)

Immediate risk to safety. Must be addressed ASAP. This is often caused by live parts that are accessible.

C2 (Potentially Dangerous)

Could become dangerous and need attention soon. Perhaps there is no earth to the building; although this is not immediately, it could become fatal if there is an electrical fault. 

FI (Further Investigation needed)

Something’s fishy and needs more investigation. For example if we suspect that the wrong size cable or type of cable has been run through insulation in a stud wall and feeds a shower, we might recommend that it’s investigated further to ensure that the right size cable is powering the shower.  

If any part of your electrical installations get classified with any of the above codes then your Condition Report will return the result ‘Unsatisfactory’.

Not unsafe, but could be improved. These are not immediately dangerous but have been identified as not being up to current regulations. For example, new consumer units should be made out of metal, not plastic, and we would therefore mark that as something that needs to be replaced.

Common Reasons for an Unsatisfactory EICR Report

Here are some common issues that can lead to an unsatisfactory report:

  1. Outdated Wiring: Older properties often have outdated wiring that doesn’t meet current safety standards. Insulation wiring tends to have a lifespan of around 40 years and when it starts to erode it will cause nuisance tripping.
  2. Overloaded Circuits: Too many devices plugged into one circuit can cause overheating and potential fires.
  3. Poor connections: We often see ceiling lights suspended by the wires. This will fail a Condition Report
  4. Basic Insulation on Show: Another common thing we see is exposed wires or cords going into junction boxes. This is poor workmanship that has huge safety implications and would be pulled up on EICR as a C2 Code. It doesn’t pose an immediate danger but has the potential to be extremely dangerous.
  5. Inadequate Earthing: Proper earthing is crucial to prevent electric shocks. Downlights are commonly installed incorrectly where the CPC or earth just gets snipped off, so as the current goes from light to light on the circuit, there is no continuous earth and no earth fault loop path. 
  6. Deterioration: Wear and tear over time can cause components to fail.

The Implications of an Unsatisfactory EICR Report

Safety Risks Associated with an Unsatisfactory EICR Report

Safety should always be your top priority. An unsatisfactory EICR means there are risks that could endanger you, your family, or your tenants. Faulty wiring can cause fires, electric shocks, or even fatalities. It’s not worth the risk to ignore these issues.

For landlords, it’s illegal to rent out a property with an unsafe electrical system. Failing to comply can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment. Additionally, an unsatisfactory EICR can affect your insurance. If a fire or accident occurs due to ignored faults, your insurance may not cover the damages.

The Impact on Property Value and Sales

An unsatisfactory EICR can also impact your property’s value. Buyers are wary of potential electrical issues, and an unsatisfactory report can be a deal-breaker. Ensuring your electrical system is up to scratch can make your property more attractive to buyers.

What Happens If Your EICR Report Returns an Unsatisfactory Result? The Next Steps

When we produce EICR reports we put a lot of time and effort into them. We will therefore include full details of the tests carried out, the results recorded and include pictures of the problems. This not only ensures transparency but also helps us to quickly identify and fix issues should the customer instruct us to do so. 

Immediate Actions to Take

By law landlords have to carry out any repairs identified within 28 days of the inspection. Critical issues, or faults marked at C1 may have to be fixed sooner.  

Tenants cannot move into or remain in a property that has an unsatisfactory EICR so you may have to find alternatively accommodation while the issues are rectified.

Understand the Issues

Carefully read the report and understand the faults. As we mentioned before our reports are comprehensive and we’ll talk you through our findings. C1 are a priority and should be fixed as soon as possible

Remember you have 28 days to rectify issues identified on a EICR, so it’s essential to get your C1 and C2 repaired while your C3 can be updated at a later date. 

Landlords are legally required to fix any C1 and C2 issues promptly. Typically, you have 28 days to address these issues, but for C1 faults, immediate action is required. Another legal obligation for landlords is they have to supply a copy of the report to the local authority within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy. 

Copies of the EICR must be retained and provided to tenants. 

Written confirmation of all remedial work must be supplied by the electrician to the tenant and local authority within 28 days of completion of the works. 

How to Address the Issues Identified in the EICR Report

Hire a Qualified Electrician for Repairs

It’s essential to hire a certified electrician to fix any issues identified in the EICR. Look for someone registered with a competent person scheme, like NICEIC or NAPIT. A qualified electrician will ensure the repairs meet the necessary safety standards.

Tips for Choosing a Reputable Electrician

Always choose a reputable electrician to conduct your EICRs and fix any problems. Over the years we’ve seen some terrible examples of EICRs, where the report just contains a list of visual observations. Although it can be tempting to think of EICRs as a tick box exercise, electrical faults can lead to costly electrical emergencies, fires and fatal electric shocks. Therefore it’s crucial that you use electricians that are thorough and report things accordingly to be compliant with regulations.

It’s also wise to make sure you use electricians that know the different requirements for domestic and commercial EICRs. For each of our tests our engineers will refer to a number of different resources. We work closely within the framework ‘Inspection and Testing’ written by the IET, we also use EICR Codebreakers produced by NAPIT which is a competent person scheme. EICR Codebreakers ensure that we remain consistent with our observations, inspections and coding. 

1. Check Credentials

Ensure they are registered with a recognised body and ask to see examples of condition reports that they produce. Make sure they are comprehensive, compliant and contain everything that we have listed above. 

2. Read Reviews

Look at past customer reviews and ask for references. We’re a 5 star rated organisation and are very transparent about our work. That’s why we have a dedicated Youtube channel where we walk you through installations and problems caused by less experienced electrical engineers. We also have a playlist dedicated to Electrical Installation Condition Reports where you can find out more. 

3. Get Quotes

Obtain multiple quotes to ensure fair pricing. Now, we know that the price we charge for Conditions Report are higher than other Electricians, but when you compare our reports to other condition reports our have been way more comprehensive and thorough. We’ve seen reports where end-to-end resistance tests hadn’t been conducted on ringed socket circuits, which would have identified any breaks in the circuit or loose connections, high resistance joints and what the R1 R2 readings should be.  

The Process of Re-inspection and Obtaining a Satisfactory EICR Report

After the necessary repairs, you’ll need a follow-up inspection to obtain a new EICR. This confirms that the faults have been addressed and your property is safe. The re-inspection process is usually quicker than the initial one since it focuses on the previously identified issues.

Specific Concerns for Private Landlords

The biggest concern for landlords is whether or not they can move a Tenant in to a property with an unsatisfactory EICR?

The short answer is ‘No’! You cannot legally move a tenant into a property with an unsatisfactory EICR. Doing so can result in severe legal repercussions, including fines and potential imprisonment. Your priority should always be ensuring the property is safe and compliant with regulations.

Preventing Future Unsatisfactory EICR Reports

We recommend that homeowners get an EICR every 10 years. However, Landlords have to have one done every 5 years. With regular inspections we can identify any C3 issues which are normally recommended upgrades. Upgrading these in good time will ensure they don’t become C2 or C1 issues. 

Regular Maintenance and Inspections

On top of the regular EICR, regular maintenance is key to preventing future issues. Schedule periodic checks and address minor faults before they become major problems. This proactive approach not only ensures safety but also prolongs the lifespan of your electrical installations. It’s important that you hire certified electricians for electrical work as this guarantees that the work meets safety standards and reduces the risk of future problems. As certified professionals we’re trained to handle various electrical issues and can provide reliable solutions.

Understanding and Adhering to Electrical Safety Standards

Stay updated on current electrical safety standards. Regulations can change, and it’s essential to ensure your property complies with the latest requirements. Regularly review guidelines from bodies like the Electrical Safety Council and make necessary adjustments. Another thing we recommend is The Best Practice Guide. This is free to download from the Electrical Safety First website and is an excellent source of information. This is a brilliant guide to how to complete a condition report and contains a checklist of all the different things that you need to look at when you’re compiling a condition report. It’s well worth a download and having a look through. 


In summary, an unsatisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report is a signal that your electrical system needs attention. Addressing the issues promptly ensures safety, legal compliance, and peace of mind. Whether you’re a homeowner or a landlord, maintaining a safe electrical system is crucial for the well-being of everyone in the property. EICR are the main way to prevent electrical fires and many other electrical emergencies. 

I hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any more questions or need assistance with your EICR, feel free to reach out. Stay safe and ensure your property’s electrical system is always in top condition!

FAQs Around Unsatisfactory Electrical Installation Reports

How Long Do I Have to Fix Issues in an Unsatisfactory EICR?

For C1 issues, immediate action is required. C2 issues should be addressed within 28 days.

Are There Penalties for Not Complying with EICR Recommendations?

Yes, landlords can face fines or imprisonment for not addressing C1 and C2 faults promptly.

How Often Should an EICR Be Conducted?

For rental properties, an EICR should be conducted every 5 years or at the start of a new tenancy. Homeowners should consider an EICR every 10 years.

Can an Unsatisfactory EICR Affect My Insurance?

Yes, if you fail to address the faults and an incident occurs, your insurance may not cover the damages.

How Do I Find a Qualified Electrician?

Look for electricians registered with competent person schemes like NICEIC or NAPIT. Check reviews, ask for references, and get multiple quotes.

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