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EICRs (Electrical Installation Condition Report) - Property purchasing

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a thorough examination of the electrical installations in property. It assesses the safety and condition of the fixed wiring, sockets, switches and all other parts of the fixed electrical installation. EICRs must be conducted by a competent, experienced qualified electrician and are important for ensuring the safety of occupants, livestock (for agricultural) buildings and compliance with regulations.

An EICR will reveal any defects, damage, faults, potential hazards and non-compliances to the installation and remedial actions required to address them. EICRs are often required for rental properties, commercial buildings though are often overlooked for property purchasing.

This can cause potential problems once the purchase has exchanged and completed. A house survey does not incorporate an EICR, though some house surveys may make a comment regarding the electrics / installation, this is far from an EICR for the property and it may end up costing the purchaser more than they had anticipated once amendments and any future works are carried out.

Carrying out an EICR prior to exchange and completion of a property can save a small fortune and can also help the purchaser negotiate with the cost of the purchase should there need extensive electrical work undertake or re-wiring of the property. This is the case from purchasing a bedsit to a large industrial unit and everything in between and beyond.

Many people (including electricians for that matter) often overlook that these documents are a legal document used as declaration of the safety of the electrical installation in the property. This being the case and the extent of what's found whilst the EICR is conducted makes charges for an EICR difficult to gage even for experienced contractors. As is always advised, get 3x quotes from 3x reputable registered electrical contractors if you're unsure and make your decision this way. If you receive a costs for an EICR that is a lot less than others, generally though without prejudice, they will be inexperienced. Cheap is generally not better and generally you'll be paying more long term. As well as being a legal document, an EICR has no time frame, it can take an hours to days depending on the size of the installation, so again if you hire an electrician that's taken 20 minutes to complete the task, it will not have been completed correctly.

For rental properties, EICRs in England are to be undertaken every 5 years, many commercial properties also have the same timeframe for insurance purposes, generally owned houses (once an EICR has been conducted) have 10 years. These are only guidance and it's down to the testing engineers discretion to stipulate the timeframe for the installation.

With regards to general owned properties, the 10 year timeframe is widely not applicable. Owners of properties that are owner occupied rarely have their electrical installation inspected and some long term owner occupied properties may have never had their properties tested! Others will have had multiple occupants adding amending and installing DIY electrics in times gone by. This being the case, when purchasing a property it is highly advised you have an EICR undertaken prior to purchase.

Please note, EICRs do not cover any fixed and or portable appliances within an installation. These appliances / equipment will come under PAT Testing, which will be covered under another post coming soon.

EICRs - Electrical Installation Condition Report

For more information of EICRs please visit our testing and inspection page on our website, we also provide EICR guide prices for transparency and reference on our pricing guide page also on the website

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