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Compulsory introduction of Home Condition Reports

Electrical Inspection and Testing, which was supposed to become compulsory under the home conditioning report, has yet again had the brakes put onto it, the Crazy part is that it is already a legal requirement and without it, you’re not insured but like most Governments, they wrote things that gave people a way out and this was supposed to close the door but as usual it did not.

Failure to carry out electrical Inspection and testing in any system is just asking for trouble and many fires happen from uninspected, non-maintained electrical systems and they are increasing, together with appliance fires these are the two highest causes of home fires and commercial fires.

With the Government’s insane 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.

This U-Turn by the government in protecting the buyers has got to be one of the most asinine pieces of thinking I have ever seen, but we are talking about politicians.

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 a Competent electrician can inspect and test the whole installation to safeguard against hidden dangers and unforeseen costs.

“Home electrics should be checked at least every ten years. Rentals are Max 5 years.

Most people don’t even know that if you don’t carry out Electrical Inspection and Testing, you are not even insured.

With 40% of homes in Britain built before 1945, it is essential to have an EICR 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 telltale signs that indicate if the electrics need further inspection.

  • Cables coated in black rubber, which were phased out in the 1960s.
  • 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 a NICEIC-approved or Registered Contractor to carry out a full periodic inspection report (PIR). Now Known as an EICR or ask to see their certificate either a 2391 or 2394/5 for the person being sent out to inspect without this they are not competent.

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

A typical EICR should start at around £200, depending on the size of the property/number of circuits, number of fuse boards etc.

“If improvements are needed, ask for a fixed price quotation for the remedial work, where possible, remember faults are something that needs to be traced and can only be done at an hourly rate.

Any work that is carried out will need a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to prove it meets the required standards of Part P.

A 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 with amendments by me to bring it up to date.

For further information go to our web site www. safe-electric.com or contact us by e-mail [email protected]