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Do I need an EICR when moving house?

The short answer is no, but sometimes it can be a good idea to carry out an EICR. It might even help you haggle over the asking price.

What is an EICR?

EICR stands for electrical installation condition report. When electricians carry out an EICR they check the condition of the property’s electrics for faults, wear and tear, safety concerns and adherence to the IET wiring regulations.

When should I consider getting an EICR?

An EICR is not included in your average building survey that most people have when they purchase a property. Although a surveyor may recommend one if they find evidence of potential electrical safety issues as part of their building survey. The main situation you should consider getting an EICR carried out is if you are purchasing a property that is quite old.

When viewing a property look out for these signs that indicate an outdated electrical installation and that you should consider an EICR:

  • A wooden backed fuse board
  • A fuse box with cast iron switches
  • Fixed cables coated in lead or fabric
  • Braided flex on ceiling roses
  • Older round pin sockets

If the property you’re moving into has a modern electrical installation or has recently been replaced it is less likely you’ll need an EICR.

If you’re moving into a new build, you won’t need an EICR as it should come with an electrical installation certificate (EIC).

How much does an EICR cost?

According to My Local Toolbox an EICR costs in the region of £100 - 300. The main factors that influence the price of an EICR are the size of the property, the age of the electrics and where you live (London and the South East tend to be more expensive).

How often should I get an EICR?

Electrical Safety First recommends you should get an EICR at least every ten years.

What are the benefits of an EICR?

The main benefits of an EICR are twofold when purchasing a house.

First off, you’ll be more aware of potential electrical defects and can plan for an electrician to resolve them straight away when you move in. This’ll give you peace of mind that your home is a safe place to live in.

Secondly if the EICR highlights problems that should be addressed then it gives you some bargaining power when negotiating on the price of the property. Or you could request that the current owner has the work done as a condition to purchase the property.

At what stage should I get an EICR?

In short, before you buy the property. You should wait until after your offer has been accepted so you know you aren’t wasting money. But you should do it before you exchange contracts so you can haggle on price should any serious faults be discovered.

Where can I find suitable electricians?

You can find local electricians using a site like My Local Toolbox.

Do you need an EICR when purchasing a buy to let?

If you’re planning to buy a property to rent out, there are specific legal requirements you need to adhere to regarding electrical safety.

Essentially you must get an EICR carried out and it should be done again every five years to remain compliant. Check the government's guide to electrical safety in the rented sector for more information.

Do I need an EICR to sell my house?

No, it is not a legal requirement to have an EICR to sell your property.

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