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Compulsory introduction of Home Condition Reports

With the Government’s u-turn on the compulsory introduction of Home Condition Reports, NICEIC is warning home buyers that it’s down to them to seek professional advice on the condition of any home they are proposing to buy.

Many people are unaware that most bank and building society home buyer surveys include only a visual inspection of the electrics that are on show. They rarely inspect behind the walls or under floorboards.

Faulty electrics can cost thousands of pounds to put right, not to mention the disruption that goes with it, but an NICEIC Approved Electrician will inspect and test the whole installation to safeguard against hidden dangers and unforeseen costs.

“Home electrics should be checked at least every ten years. With 40% of homes in Britain built before 1945, it is essential to have an electrical survey on older properties before exchanging contracts,” says Jim Speirs, chief executive, of NICEIC. “This will give home buyers an idea of any work that is required, and the estimated cost of remedial work, which they may be able to negotiate off the asking price.”
Knowing what work needs doing in advance means it can be rectified before moving in and before any re-decoration work takes place. Look for the following tell tale signs that indicate if the electrics need further inspection.

• Cables coated in black rubber, which were phased out in the 1960’s.

• Cables coated in lead or fabrics are even older. Modern cables use PVC insulation, which is coloured Grey or white.

• A consumer unit (fuse box) with a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a haphazard mixture of circuit boxes.

• Older round pin sockets and round light switches, braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.

• Wall mounted light switches in bathrooms.

If any of these are present contact an NICEIC Approved or Registered Contractor to carry out a full periodic inspection report (PIR).

This will reveal if electrical circuits are overloaded, find potential hazards in the installation, identify defective DIY work, highlight any lack of earthing or bonding and carry out tests on wiring fixed to electrical equipment.

A typical PIR should start at around £100, depending on the size of the property / number of circuits.

“If improvements are needed, ask for a fixed price quotation for the remedial work, where possible.

Any work that is carried out will need a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to prove it meets the required standards of Part P. An NICEIC contractor will be able to provide this.

Your solicitor should check that all other work carried out by the owner since 1 January 2005 is certificated.

That’s the LAW.

Information supplied by the NICEIC

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