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  1. Blog
  2. What is an EICR certificate, and do you need one to sell your house?
Advice about properties
22 October 2021

What is an EICR certificate, and do you need one to sell your house?

GetAgent Team

Can you prove whether your house is up to scratch? Buyers want to know their new home is as safe as it is spacious, so having the right safety documents can help you secure considerable value.

In this article, we’ll break down what you need to know about EICR certificates to help you uncover an overlooked sales angle. We’ll also share some other property tips like what to do when you don’t have an EICR and how to find the right estate agent to help.

What are EICR certificates, and what are they for?

‘EICR’ stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. As the name suggests, EICR certificates summarise the health of your property’s electrical infrastructure and how safe it is. EICRs tests all permanent electrical fixtures in a property, including:

  • The electricity meter
  • Major fittings like the fuse box, sockets, and lights
  • Any visible or exposed wiring within the property
  • Heating and safety equipment, like boilers, panel heaters, showers, and hard-wired smoke detectors

EICRs don’t consider appliances like white goods, kitchen and personal appliances, televisions, etc., as they’re not fixed within the property. Instead, they fall under the portable appliance test (PAT) requirements.

EICR certificates are only required for landlords and rental properties. The certificates ensure that any property’s electrical features won’t cause fire or injure tenants. However, a similar framework (the Electrical Installation Certificate or EIC and Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate or MEIWC) exists for residential property sellers.

Selling a property that doesn’t comply with British electrical safety standards can be considered a criminal offence. Sellers, therefore, must find a way for all electrical fixtures to comply with the BS7671 standard.

EICs, MEIWCs and EICRs each satisfy the BS7671 requirement (although in slightly different ways), so it’s vital you know how each one works to ensure you’re compliant before you start selling. Note that you may not need an EICR certificate if you have EIC/MEIWC certificates covering any electrical work you’ve had done since 2005. We explain why in the next section.

What’s the difference between an EICR and an EIC?

EICs and MEIWCs (Electrical Installation Certificates and Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificates) verify that any newly completed electrical work is safe as and when it was completed. They should be provided to you within 30 days of the work’s completion and can only be issued by the qualified electrician who conducted the renovation.

The difference is, EICRs are retrospective: they test electrical features regardless of whether they were certified as safe upon completion. EICRs may be useful to you if you need to certify older electrical works before certifications were required (pre-2005), or because you’ve since lost copies of EICs you need.

Since 2013, if an installation is completed by an unregistered electrician (and as a result can’t legally certify the safety), the work will need to be examined and certified within five days by a registered third party. After confirming the quality of the work, the third party will issue an EICR, rather than an EIC or MEIWC.

How can I get an EICR certificate, and how much do they cost?

You can only get an EICR certificate completed by a registered electrical contractors or third party certifiers. You can search the UK-wide NICEIC database and Scottish SELECT database directly or use an online search engine to find a qualified contractor in your area.

EICR certificate costs can vary by region, the business you use and the rates they charge. Some suppliers charge a flat-rate fee while others charge according to the scope of the work.

How long is an EICR certificate valid for?

EICR certificates are valid for a maximum of five years across the UK. If you’re looking to use an EICR to sell your home, it’s unlikely that your property will be on the market that long. However, you may not need to certify your property if you’re reselling it again within five years of the last one being issued or you’ve not had any additional electrical work done.

You’ll only need to notify your local building control authority and recertify your home if you’ve:

  1. Installed a new electrical circuit somewhere in your home (regardless of its voltage)
  2. Replaced or added a fuse box
  3. Added or altered an existing circuit in any special locations (such as bathrooms, wet rooms, or swimming pools)

Use the following links for building control authorities in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Do I need an EICR to sell my house?

No you do not need an EICR to sell your house but some form of documentation verifying that the property is compliant with BS7671 is necessary if electrical works have been undertaken since 2005. EICRs are one way homeowners can verify the safety of their properties, but they are not specifically required by law. Instead, homeowners can use copies of EICs and MEIWCs for any relevant works.

Buyers familiar with EICRs may appreciate the more recent appraisal of your property’s safety. Therefore, this recency could be a useful sales tactic for safety-conscious buyers looking for more peace of mind and EICs allow alone.

Do I need an EICR to rent my house?

Yes from 1st April 2021, all tenancies will require an EICR if you want to rent your house. As long as your EICR is less than 5 years old it is valid, if not, you'll need to get a new one.

Let sparks fly with buyers, not boilers

Make sure your property is electrically certified and sell your home with ease. Collect the right documents before you go to market and impress buyers with your solid track record of safe renovations.

Source a registered local electrician to help fill in any documentation gaps and consider how an experienced estate agent can help you with any other safety requirements before you go to market.

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Enter your details in our checker below and we’ll compare local agents in seconds. You can choose between speed, price and experience all in one dashboard to find the best available agent.

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Is an EICR a legal requirement to sell a house

No an EICR is not a legal requirement to sell a house but you need to prove that any electrical works carried out since 2005 are compliant with BS7671, this can be done with EICRs and MEIWCs for any relevant works. You can ask for these when they're being done or get an inspector to check retrospectively.

What can I do if I don’t have an EIC or EICR?

If you don't have an EICR you have a couple of options.

  1. Redo the EIC - Contact the electriction who carried it out to reasses the house and provide an EIC.
  2. Contact a certified electrician and ask them for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) instead.
  3. Get an indemnity policy - this will protect your buyer incase there are any unexpected costs, they will not asses the electrical works though.

Is an EICR the same as an electrical safety certificate?

Yes an EICR is the same as an electrical safety certificate. When you're asked for an electrical safety certificate you will typically get an EICR. If it's carried out when the works are done you will get an EIC if it's done retrospectively then you'll get an EICR.

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