If you are looking into what you need before you sell your house, you may be checking what paperwork you need to have in place. As you will appreciate, the electrics in your home are important because if there’s a fault this could lead to a house fire. This is why it’s important to know if you need electrical certificate to sell your house.
When selling a house there’s no legal requirement to provide homebuyers with an electrical safety certificate, but they may ask for a safety test on gas and electricity for reassurance before they buy. If you provide an electrical safety certificate to buyers you may sell your house faster.
Please also read this article to discover how you could save £71,475 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying again. Even I was amazed when I did the calculations! The strategies you learn in this article will not only save you money, but it will also reduce the stress of buying your next house.
What electrical report do you need to sell a house?
The law requires you to provide an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) if your property has had any notifiable electrical works carried out since 2005, which includes new electrical installations or new circuits, house re-wires, or additions to existing circuits in special locations (see below).
Is an EICR a legal requirement when selling a house?
An EICR is not a legal requirement when selling a property, but if you want to sell your house fast without any problems, having an EICR will give potential buyers peace of mind that the electrics are safe. But if you have a rental property with tenants, you must have an EICR to sell the property.
EIC vs EICR and what is the difference?
Some home owners and landlords seem to get confused between EICR vs EIC. So what is the difference between an EICR vs EIC?
What is an EICR certificate?
An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report and certifies whether the electrical installation at a property complies with relevant British Standards (Currently BS7671) at the time the check was carried out, and whether the certificate deems the installation to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
An EICR is an in-depth check of the electrical circuits in a property and has to be carried out by a qualified electrician.
When is an EICR a legal requirement?
Properties with new rental agreements starting after the 1st July 2020 have a legal requirement to have valid EICR certificates that must be supplied to tenants within 28 days. Landlords could face hefty fines of up to £30,000 if they don’t have satisfactory electrical safety inspections.
An EICR is not a legal requirement for domestic properties, but are a good safety recommendation, as a terrifying statistic is that 25% of house fires are caused by electrical failures and faulty wiring.
This nearly happened to a house I owned when electrical wires in a cupboard overheated and caught fire. But fortunately for me, I was in the property when I smelt the burning and managed to distinguish the fire.
Had I been in bed asleep, things may have been different, although I did have smoke detectors so this would hopefully have saved me. But had it happened when I was out, I may have returned to a pile of ashes instead of a home due to a house fire.
For domestic installations in good condition, an EICR is recommended at least once every ten years for homeowners. But an EICR is mandatory at least once every 5 years for private rental properties.
What is an EIC?
An EIC is an Electrical Installation Certificate and must be issued for all new notifiable electrical installations. For properties requiring Building Regulations (Building Regs.) approval, the property will not receive Building Regs. approval until the installation has a valid EIC.
When is an EIC a legal requirement?
An EIC is an Electrical Installation Certificate and must be issued for all new notifiable electrical installations.
What electrical work requires an Electrical Inspection Certificate?
Notifiable electrical works requiring an EIC include:
- Installing new electrical circuits, for example wiring an extension.
- Any property re-wires.
- Electrical works in “special locations” including bathrooms swimming pools or outside*.
- Replacing a consumer unit.
*A special location is a room that has a bath, shower, swimming pool or a sauna heater in the room, which means that any alterations or additions to existing circuits in a room that contains one of these items must be notified, but only if the work is done in the space that surrounds the bath, shower or pool. The outside of a property is also deemed a special location too.
What electrical work does not require an Electrical Inspection Certificate?
Electrical work that does not require an Electrical Inspection Certificate includes:
- Adding a socket to an existing ring main in rooms like living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
- Moving of sockets in rooms like living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.
- Adding a spur to rooms not in special locations.
- Adding a “fused switch” location.**
- Changing the lights from florescent tube lights to down-lighters for example in a kitchen.
** A switched fuse or a switchfuse is a switch that has a fuse that’s connected into a ring main, from which other electrical connections can be made.
Do you need an EIC and EICR to sell a house?
There is no legal requirement to have an EIC nor an EICR to sell a house, unless you’ve had notifiable electrical installation work done on the property, in which case you need an EIC. But if you own a rental property when notifiable works have been done you may need both an EIC and an EICR.
If you own a rental property and you are having electrical work done that requires an EIC, ask the electrician to also complete a full EICR at the same time, as this will save time and money.
For example, if the property has had a change of a fuse board, also known as a consumer unit, the EIC must include a full test of the circuits from that board. But if the property has more than one fuse board, the other boards don’t have be tested on the EIC. Which means if an EICR is a requirement because the property has tenants, the other circuits must be tested under an EICR.
What happens if you don’t have the Electrical Inspection Certificate?
If you want to sell your house but don’t have the Electrical Inspection Certificate to prove the electrical work were done to the correct British Standards (BS7671) and meet Building Regulations, you have the following options:
- Contact the company that originally carried out the work to request a copy of the EIC.
- Check online to see if you can download a digital copy from the NICEIC website here: checkmynotification.com.
- Get retrospective certification by contacting the electrician who did the work and have them certify the work retrospectively.
- Pay for an indemnity insurance policy which will cover any costs the buyer has to pay for any corrections to electrical works to pass an electrical inspection.
Can you do your own electrical work?
You can do your own electrical work, and includes:
- Changing or moving sockets, ceiling lights or light switches.
- Replacing any old wires that look damaged.
- Adding more switches, sockets or lights into a room.
However, you are not allowed to do any DIY electrical repairs in a bathrooms, around swimming pools or outside the property, as these places require a qualified electrician to carry out the work.
Do you have to use a qualified electrician to do electrical work on your property?
Any major electrical work involving rewiring the property, putting in new circuits or electrical work in special locations like bathrooms, swimming pools or outside must be done by a qualified electrician.
Final thoughts on what electrical certificates are required to sell a house
If your property has had notifiable electrical works completed and your EIC is missing, this will be a concern for potential buyers.
EICs are important because if electrical works are not certified they are potentially in breach of local authority regulations.
Works that are uncertified may be required to be redone and you could face a fine too. On top of that, any new owner of the property will inherit the problem and could be faced with fines and having to pay for the work to be redone.
Please don’t forget to read this before you leave
Please don’t forget to also read this article to discover how you could save £71,475 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying again. As I said earlier, even I was amazed when I did the calculations! Learn about how you will reduce the stress of moving house, whilst at the same time potentially save thousands in the process!
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