If you need to know more about selling a house without an electrical certificate, then this Property Road article is for you.
It’s important to appreciate that there is no law compelling you to sell your home with an electrical certificate except when you’ve had ‘notifiable’ electrical work carried out.
Also, there’s more than one type of electrical certificate, and we will look at all the issues including what to do when it is the buyer asking for an electrical certificate.
Is it mandatory to have an EICR for my home?
The first issue that needs to be discussed is whether it is mandatory to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) when selling a property.
Since 2005, it has been a legal requirement to have an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) for any notifiable electrical work that has been carried out, for example, a complete rewire.
That isn’t the same as the EICR, but if you haven’t had extensive electrical work done in your home, you may find that having EICR may also:
- Speed up the selling process;
- Bring peace of mind to the buyer.
If you have had electrical work carried out, then you need to keep the electrical installation condition report to prove an inspection has been carried out – and retain any receipts from the electrician.
Essentially, you’ll need to keep all the paperwork to show that everything was done properly.
Also, the report will show what has been done and if any remedial work is necessary.
For this reason, the potential buyer will have peace of mind and the conveyancer will have proof, so the conveyancing process is made quicker.
What is the Electrical Installation Condition Report?
The Electrical Installation Condition Report is also known as the Periodic Inspection Check, and this is carried out to confirm that a property is electrically safe. The EICR will identify:
- Any damage to electrical switches and sockets;
- Ensure that any previous modifications are safe;
- Check the degradation and integrity of the property’s wiring.
While there is no legal obligation to have an EICR, it is recommended that homeowners carry out a condition check of their electric installation every 10 years.
However, it is the law for a landlord who is renting out a private property to have the installation checked at least once every five years.
A rented property will need a valid EICR to show that the electrical installation is safe. Not having this report can lead to problems if an issue with the electrics is discovered during a tenancy.
The buyer is asking for an electrical certificate
As mentioned, you will need an Electrical Installation Certificate when selling your house to prove that electrical work has been carried out safely.
And to prove there are no known issues with the electrical installation, you will need the EICR.
It is worth bearing in mind that your solicitor will ask you to complete a residential information form when selling, as this will have sections about the property’s electrical system.
Potential buyers – or their conveyancing solicitor – will ask for the EICR if there has been extensive electrical work carried out because:
- The EICR will show that a professional has inspected the electrics and confirmed they are sound.
- An inspection may highlight potential electrical faults which means you will have to tell the buyer.
- Potential electrical faults that you may not know about may lead to the buyer negotiating the price.
You may also find that a potential buyer that wants the EICR to be carried out may also be willing to pay for it.
How much will an electrical condition report cost?
Depending on where you live, it will cost from £150 for the EICR.
However, for larger properties there will be more work so a three-bedroom home, for example, that has fairly new wiring may cost around £300 for the report.
The time it takes is between two and four hours but older homes may need more time because it’s likely that there will be more faults detected.
Also, if you are a landlord, you will need to ensure that the property you are letting to tenants is not only safe but compliant with legal requirements – which means the EICR is crucial.
Find a local electrician:
When do I need an electrical installation condition report?
It’s important to appreciate that if you have had any electrical work carried out in your home, then under building regulations, it is notifiable under Part P. This regulation covers:
- All electrical installation work carried out;
- Any electrical work carried out in the bathroom;
- The work has been completed by a registered electrician;
- You have a certificate when the work is completed;
- The work has been reported to the local authority’s building control department.
For the safety and security of your property’s electrics, you really should use a registered electrician for any type of work that is carried out in your home.
This ensures that you and your family will be safe and ensures that your property is more attractive to a potential buyer.
What is in the Electrical Installation Condition Report?
When you receive the EICR, it will be around seven pages in length, and this is a formal report that covers:
- The consumer unit’s suitability (the new name for the fuse board);
- The testing and checking and earthing of the property’s electrical installation;
- Each circuit will be load tested;
- The property’s wiring age, type, and condition – especially any cracks in wiring.
Also, any general wear and tear will be noted and there may be some recommendations on the necessary work.
The electrician will also record a visual check of electrical fittings and locations – and highlight whether there are problems such as the sockets being too close to the floor.
The report will also mention whether the property has had a change in use, such as switching from commercial to domestic use, which may create electrical installation deficiencies and what these are and how they can be fixed.
What types of electrical safety certificates are available?
You may not be aware that there are several types of electrical safety certificates and reports available. The differences are:
- An electrical safety report is created when an electrician carries out a test of the electrics in your property.
- An electrical safety certificate will be generated when a new installation has been made including a new circuit, consumer unit or rewire.
All homeowners should consider having a qualified electrician inspect and test their electrical installation to ensure everything is safe. Remember, faulty electrics can lead to an electric shock or a dangerous fire that could put people in your property at risk.
As a landlord, not having a valid EICR means you leave yourself open to legal implications should someone be injured because of faulty electrics.
Indeed, the rented property’s electrical installation will need to be tested before a new tenant moves in. And if the tenant stays there for a long time, this inspection will need to be carried out every five years.
Beware too, that some insurance firms will insist that an inspection of the electrical installation is carried out on a regular basis and any potential claim arising from an issue could be invalidated if you haven’t done this.
So, there are four types of electrical safety reports or certificates, and they are:
Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC)
An electrician will provide the Electrical Installation Certificate as proof they have checked the electrics, and they are safe. The certificate will state clearly the time and date it was issued and will be required for all major installations, including additional electric lights and sockets you have added, along with new circuits and consumables.
Minor electrical installation works certificate
This is very similar to the electrical installation certificate but when the work carried out is minor, such as having light fittings or sockets installed, and the electrical work is not in a special location such as the bathroom, then you need the minor electrical works installation certificate.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Landlords must have an EICR before renting a property to a new tenant, and these reports are a good idea for homeowners, particularly if their property’s wiring hasn’t been updated or checked for several years. There is no certificate handed over but there is a condition report that will detail the state of the wiring.
Part P Notifications
As mentioned, the electrical work that may have been carried out in the property may have required Building Control notification. By using a suitably qualified electrician who is part of the self-certification scheme you will have a professional who can self-certify their work.
You can also employ an electrician who isn’t part of the self-certification scheme, which means that you will have to tell Building Control that the work has been carried out. However, you will usually have to pay to do this – and the fees vary. When using a self-certified electrician, the cost of the certificate is typically included in the price.
What happens if you don’t have the EIC?
If you can’t find the Electrical Installation Certificate, or you never had one, then there are some solutions. They include:
- Get the EIC: You can contact the electrician who did the work and get the EIC. You could have the work redone and have a new EIC for that.
- Organise the EICR: If you can’t contact the electrician who did the work, then have the Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out by a qualified electrician. It’s not a replacement for the EIC but should placate potential buyers.
- Indemnity insurance: A quick solution if you have a buyer lined up is to consider an indemnity insurance policy. This will protect a buyer from the potential costs that might arise because the EIC is missing. The policy will not require a check of the electrical installation. Conveyancing solicitors will be able to offer more information on this solution.
Selling a house without an electrical certificate
It’s not impossible if you are selling a house without an electrical certificate but you need to understand:
- How long ago any electrical work was carried out – if it is a few years then an EICR is a good idea.
- If it is recent work, and you can’t find the EIC then an indemnity policy should be considered.
A lot depends on the buyer, and they may be happy to buy without the electrical certificate – and they might also ask for a reduction in the asking price to cover eventualities, including repair work.