The No 1 Golden Rule from your local electrician when buying property. Do not buy a property without an electrical certificate or report!
Recent surveys suggest that moving house is one of the most stressful life events that you may encounter throughout your adult life. Finding a new property, organising your mortgage, sorting the legal documents and moving all of your own and family belongings it’s understandable that things may get missed or overlooked. We know this because time and time again when we speak to our customers who have recently bought a property the first question we always ask is, Did you ask for the electrical certificate when you bought the property?
Unfortunately there are two very common answers to this question, one is “No, I didn’t realise I needed one!” and the other is “Yes, I’ve got a home buyers survey!”
A home buyers survey is not undertaken by a qualified electrician and is undertaken on a visual basis only, it is often a case of ticking a number of boxes and leaving a short comment as oppose to a Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which is a 8 page report that documents the condition of the installation and is accompanied with a quotation to bring the installation up to the regulation BS7671.
Figures show that there were close to 2.5 million residential sales throughout the UK in 2018-19. Unfortunately, research carried out by Electrical Safety First indicated that only 37% of home buyers had the electrics checked before there purchase. One in five thought that electrical checks were included in the recommended home survey report and just under half were unaware that checks were needed at all.
Greggs’s Case study. (Sheffield S8)
Gregg bought his first property at the back end of last summer and was eager to get himself and his partner on the property ladder. Disappointingly, his excitement was short-lived:
“A couple of weeks the move circuits started tripping and various over issues came to my attention that didn’t seem right. I called Smart Electricians for some advice and a quotation to add some additional socket outlets. To our frustrations the existing circuits in the property were not fit for purpose and we could not add the additional sockets as the circuits and fuse box was deemed unsafe for continued use. We ended up having to spend almost £5,000 to cover the cost of the rewiring the entire house along with having to pay for plastering works. Rob explained that all this could have been avoided if I had just had an Electrical Installation Condition Report done before buying my home”
So how can you protect yourself from this risk?
Ask a very simple question.
Can I see the electrical certificate for this property?
This is a great question for the simple fact that it’s a yes no answer. If the answer is yes this is a great start as you can have your electrician take a look over the document. If there is no certificate available we recommend instructing a certified electrician to undertake a EICR (link to EICR FAQs). Smart Electricians can visit the property to undertake the EICR on your behalf before you agree on the price of the purchase, if the electrical installation does require updating or rewiring the cost of the work can be of set against the cost of the property.
Since the introduction of the part P electrical Scheme in January 2005 electrical certification and documentation has been a mandatory task for new electrical installation and alterations which means that more and more electrical certificates are in circulation that in previous years, be sure to check the dates on the electrical certificates as they have a maximum duration of 10 years for a privately owned property and 5 Years for a rented property.
If you are purchasing or selling a property and need our help or advice please contact our helpful team and remember.
No Cert, No sale!