A standard homebuyers survey will not normally check the condition of the electrics

Research carried out by Electrical Safety First found that only 37% of buyers had the electrics checked before purchase. Over a third of home buyers then went on to discover electrical problems that they were not aware of before purchase – something that could easily be avoided by getting a registered electrician to inspect the electrics and issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Survey carried out by the charity, Electrical Safety First, on residential sales in 2014-15.

What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)?

It’s a full electrical survey.  Sometimes your mortgage lender will require an EICR before it lends on the property.

An EICR includes:

  • Tests on every circuit and all distribution equipment;
  • Opening up a sample of all fixed electrical items (sockets, switches, extractor fans, etc).

A report is then issued in a standard industry format, known as the Electrical Installation Condition Report.

The report itself is around 7 pages and contains a lot of technical information such as test results.  When I’m doing reports for homebuyers I also like to provide a covering email containing the main points that you, the homebuyer, would benefit from knowing, such as:

  • The approximate age of the electrics;
  • How suitable it is for continued use, and whether a rewire should be considered;
  • How suitable it is for any alterations or improvements you are considering making;
  • Full details of any work that would improve the installation or make it safe, along with details of how urgent that work is.  I will provide this in a form that can be easily forwarded to electricians for the purpose of obtaining quotes.

A cheaper alternative – the visual inspection

This is a much more limited inspection.  I will have a close look at the fuseboard or consumer unit, and all fixed electrics that I can see, but I won’t open anything up to inspect.

I will provide an email explaining the likely condition of the electrics.  This report does not involve any testing (other than quick test for earthing) so it will not give details of any faults or problems, unless they can be seen from a visual inspection.

If you are buying a property and would like information about my prices and availability for an EICR or a visual inspection, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.