How To Sell A House Without An Electrical Certificate
Selling your home? You’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork you have to present to a potential buyer. Many believe an electrical certificate, or an EICR, is required when you’re ready to sell, but what if you don’t have one? Even if you do have one, do you have the right one? Do you need an electrical certificate to sell a house? Who can issue electrical installation certificates? Questions abound, but this quick guide has all of the answers you need.
What Is An Electrical Certificate?
In the UK, if you hear the term “electrical certificate,” it probably refers to an EICR. This is simply a document that proves all of the electrical installations on your property are not only safe but also compliant with legal regulations. These are sometimes also called a PIR, or Periodic Inspection Report. You may also see the term EIC used in certain situations. An EIC stands for an Electrical Installation Certificate. The difference between EIC and EICR reports is the fact that an EIC is issued by a registered electrician upon the completion of a new electrical installation or major electrical works in an existing property. It is a legal document that confirms the installation has been designed, installed, inspected, and tested by the applicable electrical regulations. It includes information about the electrician or contractor responsible for the installation, details of the installation itself, such as its location and description, and the results of the inspection and testing procedures carried out. AN EICR, on the other hand, is a document that assesses the safety and condition of an existing electrical installation. It is conducted at regular intervals, typically every 1 to 5 years, depending on the type of property and its use. An EICR is created by a qualified electrician who inspects and tests the electrical installations to identify any defects, damage, wear and tear, or non-compliance with electrical regulations. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the electrical system, highlighting any observed faults, potential risks, and recommendations for remedial actions. The main purpose of the EICR is to ensure the ongoing safety and compliance of the electrical installation throughout its lifespan.
No matter what name you use for these, the goal is the same – it helps show that all of the electrical systems and the equipment on any given property are safe and in good condition. It also helps show that they meet the required electrical regulations and standards that are current within UK law.
There are many different reasons these kinds of certifications might be required. Insurance companies often require them before they’ll issue buildings and contents coverage for a property. They often must be given in commercial establishments to show compliance with current health and safety regulations. By far, however, the most common reason that they’re issued is when the property is either going to be rented to tenants or sold to others.
Do I Need An Electrical Certificate To Sell My House?
If you intend to sell your home, you will need at least an EIC for any electrical work that has been done to the property. Imagine, for example, you had the property rewired at some point in time. You’ll need an EIC to show that project was completed properly. You DO NOT need an EICR to sell your home. You don’t even need an EIC if you haven’t had any work done. It is, however, to your advantage to have an EICR for two key reasons. The first is the fact that it can help you sell your home faster. Having an EICR readily available can help expedite the conveyancing process. Buyers and their solicitors may request an EICR as part of the property information pack, and having it readily available can speed up the overall transaction timeline. In some cases, a buyer’s surveyor or mortgage lender may require an EICR to be carried out before finalising the mortgage offer. By proactively obtaining an EICR before listing the property, you can address any potential issues in advance, preventing delays or negotiations during the later stages of the sale.
Additionally, though, having an EICR may help bring your buyer a bit of peace of mind. An EICR demonstrates that the electrical installation has been inspected and tested by a qualified electrician, giving potential buyers confidence that the electrical system is safe and meets the required standards. This can alleviate concerns about electrical faults, hazards, or potential risks, creating a sense of security for buyers. Moreover, providing an EICR to potential buyers demonstrates your commitment to transparency and proper maintenance of the property. It offers documented evidence of the condition of the electrical installation, which can be reassuring to buyers and their solicitors during the due diligence process.
Who Can Issue Electrical Installation Certificate Paperwork?
While the answer to the question “Do you need an EICR to sell a house?” is no, having one is worth the time and effort to obtain it. Where do you turn when you need one, though? Getting one may be easier than you think. The process begins when you find a qualified electrician. You can usually start that process by looking for recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, or neighbours who have recently had electrical work done. They can provide insights into their experiences with electricians they have hired and recommend reliable professionals. If you don’t know anyone who has had work done recently, you can usually use the Registered Competent Person Scheme. Various organisations operate these schemes, such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers), and ELECSA (Electrical Contractors Association). You just have to visit the websites of those bodies and use their search tools to find registered electricians in your area. You can also use online directories that specialise in listing qualified electricians. Some popular directories include TrustMark, Which? Trusted Traders, Checkatrade, and Rated People. These directories often provide customer reviews and ratings to help you make an informed decision. Finally, you can talk to your local authority or building control department. They may have a list of electricians who are registered or have been vetted for carrying out electrical work in compliance with regulations. Just remember that you need a registered electrician or electrical contractor to obtain an EICR.
Once you find the right professional to handle the job, the next step is to arrange a time for the inspection. You’ll need to give them some details about your property. Typically that may include how larger your property is, how many circuits it includes, and any specific concerns you have. If you’re selling the property in the future, that’s a good thing to tell them upfront.
Once you have an appointment, you’ll want to do a bit of preparation before the electrician arrives. You need to be sure he or she has easy access to all of the electrical installations in your home. Think about making certain the electrician can reach the distribution board, the switches, and the sockets. If you have obstructions like heavy furniture or something similar in the way of those access points, be sure you move them before the electrician arrives.
During the appointment, you can expect your electrician to do a fairly complete inspection and testing of the systems across the property. Initially, he or she will perform a visual inspection. You’ll see them looking at your fuse box, the switches, sockets, wiring, lighting fixtures, and any other relevant components. They will look for signs of damage, wear and tear, improper installation, or any visible defects that may pose a safety risk. Then they’ll perform a few different tests on your electrical system. While they use several, it will likely be a combination of these options.
- Earth Fault Loop Impedance Test: This helps to measure the impedance of the electrical current running through your home and identifies any potential faults or spaces where inadequate earthing is occurring.
- RCD Test: RCD stands for Residual Current Device, and it’s a safe option that helps to find electrical faults and protect users against electrical shock. You should already have several RCDs in your home, and the electrician will test them to make certain they’re performing as well as they should be.
- Continuity and Resistance Tests: These are designed to measure how well an electrical current continuously flows through electrical conductors in your home as well as the resistance of those same conductors. It helps to show that they are all in good condition and create the electrical path that was initially expected.
- Insulation Resistance Test: This helps to make sure the cables in your home (and all of the components of the system) have enough insulation to prevent electrical short circuits that could potentially lead to fires.
- Polarity Test: The goal of this test is to be sure the wiring connections are correct and make certain there are no potential safety hazards.
Once the testing is complete, the electrician creates the EICR report. It will not only show his or her findings but also some recommendations for improvements. You may see notes about any defects your electrician observed during the testing process, any risks that might be down the road for certain pieces of equipment, and any spaces where your property isn’t in compliance. If any issues are noted in the report, you’ll want to address them promptly. The electrician who created the EICR can typically tell you more about what must be done and roughly what it might cost to do so, but undertaking those repairs will help not only make sure your home is safe, but also show that level of safety to potential buyers.
How Much Will I Pay For An EICR?
If you decide to have an EICR before you put your property on the market, you may be a bit concerned about the overall costs involved. After all, just selling your home can come with so many different costs. While it depends a bit on where your property is located in the UK and how large your property is, understanding the basic figure will help you get a better sense of what it might cost to have one done on your home.
The typical cost range for an EICR is between £100 and £300 for a standard domestic property. However, it’s important to note that these figures are approximate, and prices can vary significantly.
For larger or more complex properties, such as commercial buildings or properties with multiple dwellings, the cost of an EICR is generally higher due to the increased scope of the inspection and testing required.
You’re going to get a far better sense of what it might cost to have an EICR done on your property if you talk to a few different electricians in your area. Most experts recommended that you obtain quotes from multiple electricians or electrical contractors to compare prices and services. As you think about the cost, you’ll want to factor in the qualifications, reputation, and experience of the electrician, as well as their adherence to safety regulations and compliance with relevant schemes or bodies. After all, the cost of an EICR should not be the sole factor in the decision-making process. Ensuring the safety and compliance of the electrical installation should be the primary concern, and hiring a competent and registered electrician is crucial for a thorough and reliable EICR inspection.
Should I Get an EICR Report Before I List My Home?
The bottom line is that you can sell your house without an electrical certificate. Just because you can do so, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. By investing in an EICR, you’re doing lots of things for your property and potential buyers. You’re giving them a measure of confidence in the home’s entire electrical system, and that can help them approach a bid for your property with reduced levels of concern. You’re giving yourself a smooth transaction process because you’re addressing any potential issues well in advance of any inspections the buyer might wish to pursue. That, in turn, gives you some measure of peace of mind before you list the property that once you have a bid, it will stand as the right bid, and you’ll be able to move through the negotiation process without any serious problems.
Having an electrical safety certificate isn’t a legal requirement to sell your property, but budgeting for one and taking the time to choose a contractor so you can obtain one will make it far faster and easier to sell your home. After all, many buyers are requesting one these days as part of their due diligence. Doesn’t it then simply make sense to go ahead and have one for the property so that the sale of your home can be almost hassle-free? If you’re ready to list your home, talk to a qualified electrician about having an EICR so you can move forward with a simple home sale.