Electrical safety

Electrical safety inspections

We carry out electrical safety inspections to check how safe your home is.

During the inspection, we'll look at things like the age of your home, the contents, how you use it, and any other risks.  

It's like a car MOT inspection for your home.

As a landlord, we have a responsibility and duty to make sure that our homes are safe to live in.

As we can't see electricity with the naked eye, the inspection is a way of making sure any issues are found, so they can be properly dealt with.

Electrical safety inspections are sometimes called EICR or periodic inspections.

During the inspection

Your appointment will be a 4 hour slot, either morning (8am to 12noon) or afternoon (12.30pm to 4.30pm).

The inspection will take about 2 to 3 hours to complete. We'll use the extra time to make any small repairs that are needed.

The inspection will not cause any damage to your home.

We'll need access to all areas and rooms. This includes:

  • all light fittings
  • light switches
  • sockets
  • cupboards
  • lofts
  • the consumer unit
  • gas meter
  • water stopcock

If any electrical work has been done outside, we'll need access to outside areas too (e.g. garden or outhouse).

During the inspection, we will need to:

  • turn off the electrical supply to your home for around 1.5 to 2 hours
  • remove a sample of lights, sockets and switches from each circuit to carry out the tests
  • turn your electrical supply on for a small part of the inspection (this will use a small, insignificant amount of electricity)

We may need to plug in our equipment (the electrical tester or drilling machine).

The inspection will be carried out by a South Tyneside Homes Property Services Electrician or an approved subcontractor. The person doing the inspection will have the required qualifications and knowledge.

The electricity that is used during the inspection will not be reimbursed, as it is such a small amount.

After the inspection

If we find any small repairs that need to be done, we'll do these straight away.

If we find any large repairs that need to be done, we'll arrange a separate appointment with you.

A Team Leader and Electrical Surveyor will be involved, and will explain the repair work that's needed. We'll work with you to make sure that the repair work causes minimal disruption and damage.

We'll keep a record of the electrical safety inspection, including when it was carried out and what we found.

When your home will get an inspection

Usually, your home will need an electrical safety inspection:

  • within 5 years of its full electrical rewire
  • then every 5 years after that

If the Electrician thinks an inspection is needed sooner, the time between inspections can be shorter.

We also carry out an electrical safety inspection when:

  • there is a change of occupancy (either through the Homefinder team or a Mutual Exchange)
  • there has been a fire
  • some types of intermittent faults have been reported
  • there is DIY work which is a danger to life

If we did work to your home through the Decent Homes Programme, we will have done a full electrical safety inspection or rewire during this.

We keep detailed records of all electrical safety inspections that have been carried out in our homes.

Organising an appointment

When your home is due an inspection, we will contact you.

Our Electrical team will contact you by either letter, a phone call or an automated booking text.

Make sure you are in for your appointment. If you are no longer available for your appointment, please let us know so that we can rearrange.

If you need to rearrange your appointment, or if you have any queries, email ElectricalSafetyInspections@southtynesidehomes.org.uk.

If you don't allow us to do the inspection

Electrical safety inspections are mandatory.

It's important that we carry out the inspection in your home when needed.

Your tenancy agreement states that you must allow us access to your home for maintenance purposes.

If you don't allow the inspection to be completed, this is a breach of your tenancy agreement. This means we can take legal action.

If you're not in for your appointment (or if you don't let us in), we'll put a 'no answer' card through your door. The card will let you know how to rearrange your appointment.

We'll keep a record and evidence of any times that we can't access your home for an appointment.

If you continually don't allow us access to complete the inspection, we can apply to the Magistrates Court for a warrant to allow us to force entry to complete the electrical safety inspection.