If you are purchasing a new home, selling an old home or you run a commercial business, understanding what an Electrical Safety Certificate is, and how it relates to you is highly important.
In the UK, failing to get an electrical safety certificate and failing to comply with the recommendations for improvement can result in heavy fines for commercial businesses and landlords. It’s not a mistake that you’ll want to make.
In this article, we will be covering what an electrical certificate is when they are relevant and how much it costs. If you are looking for something specific, see our drop-down menu:
- What Is An Electrical Certificate?
- How Do I Get An EICR Assessment?
- When Might You Be Asked To Supply An Electrical Safety Certificate?
- How Much Does An Electrical Certificate Cost?
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What Is An Electrical Certificate?
An electrical certificate or an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used to identify the integrity and degradation of any electrical wiring within a building or home. It will ensure that any DIY modifications or building works are completely safe and that if there is any damage to electrical accessories like sockets and switches then they can be amended. An electric certificate is effectively a safety check of the electrical wiring.
They are given out by a professional electrician after an evaluation of the electrical wiring within your building has been completed. The certificate is a declarative document that states whether the wiring is safe to use or what needs to be improved.
Types Of Electrical Certificates
There are three levels to the electrical certificates:
- Minor Electrical Works Installation Certificate – is used to check for minor electrical installations like light fittings and sockets.
- Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) – is used to check the condition & electrical state of a property, residential or commercial. An EIC is needed for all major installations including new units, circuits, sockets, switches, light fixtures, kitchens and bathrooms.
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR) – is used to look at the condition & electrical state of the property and is more of a detailed report than a certificate. It is an evaluation of any damage, deterioration or defects that could turn into a hazard.
- The report will also note observations that relate to BS 7671:2018 wiring regulations, this will help inform any builders/electricians of any improvements that should take place to make the building safe.
- The report will be ranked on a scale of C1, C2, and C3, with C1 being the highest level of danger & C3 being the lowest.
How Do I Get An EICR Assessment?
First, you must get in touch with a certified electrical contractor. In order for an electrical safety certificate to be legal, the contractor must have their Level 3 diploma from the National Vocational Qualification in; Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment, and Electrotechnical Services.
If you are looking to get a commercial electrical certificate in the UK, you must also ensure that the electrician is accredited by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.
Secondly, the electrician will need to note down any areas of the property that they cannot access. For example, if an area of the property is concealed by fabric or insulation in the flooring, wall or roof space.
You must make sure that this is limited as it will diminish the accuracy of the report and the condition of your electrical system – if something were to go wrong, you would be liable to any hazards.
Thirdly, the electrician will evaluate and test all electrical systems within the property (excluding any limited areas). They will be analysing areas of damage and deterioration in electrical equipment, circuits and wiring. As well as any areas that do not comply with electrical wiring regulations, any electrical equipment that may need repair or replacement and any electrics that could increase the risk of electrical faults and hazards.
After the evaluation and assessment have taken place, the electrician will create a report that will be signed by a qualified supervisor. You will then receive a copy of the report which you must keep as documentation.
When Might You Be Asked To Supply An Electrical Safety Certificate?
If you have a reputable solicitor or conveyancer, you should be asked for your EIC when selling your house. This will be submitted as part of your residential or commercial property information form.
It is important that potential buyers are able to see your electrical safety certificate as this can act as an assurance for them that the property is safe. This can speed up the property sale time, as they will not need to carry out their own inspection.
If you are renting a property then you should always be asked for an ECIR by the other party’s solicitor. You should not be able to rent out a property without one, and if you do, you may be liable for electrical hazard claims.
How Often Does An EICR Need To Be Done?
Domestic installations (homes and residential buildings) that are in good condition or built after 2005, should get an Electric Installation Certificate Report done every 10 years. If your residential property is in a poor condition or was built before 2005, or you look after a commercial property, it is mandatory that you get an EICR done every 5 years.
Do I Need An EICR When Purchasing A Home?
You do not need an Electrical Installation Certificate Report to purchase a new home. But, an EICR should be shown to you by the solicitor of the selling party. This will confirm the condition and safety of the property before you buy it.
Do I need an EICR to sell my house?
To sell your house or commercial property you don’t legally need to have an EICR, but it should help your buyer with any hesitations about whether the property is electrically safe. If you do get an EICR, the regulation requires you to have an Electrical Installation Certificate Report every 5 years in commercial buildings and older residential homes (built before 2005). You are required to carry an EICR every 10 years in houses built after 2005.
By doing an electric safety certificate to sell your house, you are showing potential buyers that your electrics are safe – which will speed up the selling process. If you are a landlord or letting agent, it is a legal requirement to provide an electrical test certificate to prove to tenants that your building is safe for them to live in.
The EICR must be performed by a certified professional electrician. You must also keep the paperwork as documentation that you have had work carried out.
Electrical certificate for a House of Multiple Occupancy
If you own a property that lets out student homes or is rented housing multiple tenants, you are legally required to periodically carry out an EICR every 5 years, by a professional electrician. An ECIR must be kept as proof of inspection and may show any work that needs to be carried out. Landlords must follow these periodic inspections otherwise they will be fined significantly.
How Much Does An Electrical Installation Condition Report Cost?
The cost of an electrical installation condition report will change depending on the size of a property, below please see a table relating to the residential property size and the cost of an EICR.
|Size Of Residential Property||Price Of EICR|
|1 Bedroom Flat||£100 – £150|
|2 Bedroom Flat||£120 – £170|
|3 Bedroom Flat||£180 – £230|
|1 or 2 Bedroom House||£150 – £200|
|3 or 4 Bedroom House||£200 – £250|
|5 Plus Bedroom House||£300 Minimum|
The cost of your Electrical Installation Certificate Report will depend on many factors, including:
- The condition and age of your electrics – Older properties, with either faulty or outdated electrics will typically need more care and attention when a valuation is taking place. This will require more time and more recommendations to be made and increase the cost of your EICR.
- Size and location of your property – Generally the more bedrooms your home has, the more circuits will exist and the higher the cost. If you live in the South of England or Wales, then it will cost more to hire an electrician.
If you are looking for a commercial property Electrical Installation Condition Report, the cost will depend on your location, size of property and contractor. A thorough inspection will take around five hours to complete, and will cost around £15 to £20 per circuit tested.
In summary, an electrical certificate in the UK, is a document that is needed to prove to any new buyers that your property is safe to inhabit, that there are no electrical hazards and that any recommendations have been carried out. If you are not given an EIC when purchasing a house, it’s important that you do ask for one as this could make or break your decision to move into a property.
If you’re a landlord or own commercial property, you must get an EICR every 5 years to keep up with laws and regulations. If you do not follow this up every 5 years, you may be fined up to £30,000.
If you have any questions about this article, please contact us.