This page is all about electrical safety certificates and reports, what they are, how long they take to complete, how often you should have one done and how much they cost.
Technically, there is a difference between a report and a certificate; a report is generated when an electrician conducts a test of an existing installation. A certificate is created for a new installation, such as a rewire, new consumer unit, new circuit or other similar items.
Arranging for a qualified electrician to test and provide you with a safety report is an important step for homeowners and landlords.
Failure to do so could result in a dangerous fire or electrical shock that could put you or others at risk. You’ll also be exposing yourself to serious legal implications.
If you are a landlord, you’re legally obliged to have the property’s electrical installations tested before a tenant moves in. If the property you rent has multiple occupancies, the test will need to be repeated periodically, usually every five years.
As a homeowner, your insurance could be invalidated if you make a claim and cannot provide proof that related electrical work was carried out safely. You may also have difficulty selling the home if any electrical installation work is uncertified.
The Different Types of Electrical Safety Certificate/Reports
There are four different types of electrical safety certificate or reports:
1 – Electrical Installation Certificate
This is a certificate from an electrician that states that an electrical installation is safe to use at the date and time stated on the certificate. It’s required for all major installations, including consumer units, new circuits and additional lights/sockets in special locations such as the kitchen or bathroom.
2 – Minor Electrical Works Installation Certificate
This is similar to an EIC but is used when the electrical installation is minor such as additional sockets or light fittings not in a special location.
3 – Electrical Installation Condition Report (popular with landlords)
These reports replaced the previous “periodical electrical report” but they are essentially the same thing.
The law states that a landlord must get one of these completed before a new tenant moves in. Homeowners purchasing a new home should ideally have one completed too, especially if the property is old and the wiring hasn’t been updated.
You won’t get a certificate as such but you will receive a condition report.
4 – Part P Notifications
Many electrical projects will require Building Control Notification.
This can be achieved in one of two ways:
1 – By employing a qualified electrician who is a member of a “Part P” self-certification scheme, these electricians can “self-certify” their work.
2 – By employing a qualified electrician who isn’t part of the scheme and notifying Building Control yourself, there’s usually a fee for this as non-members cannot self-certify.
Landlord Electrical Safety Report (Certificate) Costs
For landlords and anyone seeking a condition report for the entire property, you’ll need an “Electrical Installation Condition Report”, this is often to referred to as a certificate, but technically it’s a report.
These typically cost between £100 and £250 for an average 2 or 3 bedroom home with reasonably new wiring.
How Long Does the Work Take?
Assuming the wiring is fairly recent, i.e within the last 30 years, the work normally takes 2-4 hours.
For older homes with dated wiring, lots of faults may be detected and this may slow down the process.
Also, larger homes will take longer. A modern 1-bed apartment will take less time to check when compared to a 50-year-old 5-bed house.
What’s Included in an Electrical Installation Condition Report?
The formal report is usually delivered on at least seven pages and includes results from:
- Check and test the earthing and bonding.
- Suitability of the consumer unit.
- Load testing of each circuit.
- Type, age and condition of the wiring throughout the property.
- Note any general wear and tear.
- Visually check all the fittings and their locations, noting any issues such as sockets too close to the floor.
- Changes in use of the premises (ie from commercial to domestic or vice versa) which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the
How Often Should a Home be Tested?
There’s no law that requires a homeowner to have the electrical installation periodically tested although you’ll leave yourself exposed to legal implications if there’s a serious incident that could have been avoided by having the wiring tested and repaired.
Landlords should have the installation tested before any new tenant moves in and every five years if the property has multiple occupants.
For homes with swimming pools, it’s generally advisable to have the electrics tested at least every two years.
How Much Does a “Part P” Certificate Cost?
If you chose an electrician that is a member of a competent person scheme, he or she can self-certify the work and issue you with a certificate. This is usually included in the price they quote you.
If your chosen electrician isn’t a member they won’t be able to self-certify and you’ll need to notify building control and pay a fee.
This fee varies from council to council and depends on the complexity of the work.
As an example, in 2017 Surrey Heath charge £383 for Building Control notification for house rewires and £289 for other notifiable works.
How Much Does a New Fusebox or a House Rewire Cost?
You can explore our guide to house rewire costs here.
New fuseboxes, now known as consumer units, are discussed in this price guide.
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