Do I need an electrician To Check my electrics before buying a new home

Is your home at risk from faulty wiring? Two-thirds of buyers fail to check electrics when purchasing a property

Two-thirds of the homes purchased in the last two years have not been checked for electrical safety, a charity has warned.

Electrical Safety First says homebuyers mistakenly believe a survey will check the electrics, leaving them at risk of high bills, electric shock or fire.

Buyers are instead being urged to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Time to mend that broken switch?:  There is no legal requirement to get an electrical report when buying a residential property but it could save you money and prevent damage

Time to mend that broken switch?:  There is no legal requirement to get an electrical report when buying a residential property but it could save you money and prevent damage

There are several obvious items to check when purchasing a property such as the quality of the boiler, roof, damp and the structure – many of which will be picked up by surveys.

But if you want to check the electrics then you would need a separate inspection by an electrician.

A survey of more than 2,000 homeowners who purchased their property in the past two years found of the 2.4million property sales in the past two years, only 37 per cent have used a an EICR.

The survey by Electrical Safety First claimed this means 67 per cent have failed to check their electrics.

The cost of remedying electrical issues after moving in averages approximately £2,000, according to the charity, with some costs rising as high as £10,000.


1. Neighbourhood 91%

2. Structural work needed 91%

3. Boiler age 90%

4. Risk of subsidence 90%

5. Damp 90%

6. The safety of the electrics 87%

7. Amount of work needed on the property 86%

8. Neighbours 86%

9. Service charge 83%

10. Proximity to good transport links 76%

The poll also found that electrical safety comes sixth in the top 10 considerations when purchasing a property, with the neighbourhood, structural work, boiler, subsidence and damp at the top.

Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical Safety First, said: ‘It’s easy to bypass checking the electrics when purchasing a property if you think it is included in the recommended home survey report – our research suggests this is the case for around 20 per cent of people.

‘However, not conducting an EICR significantly increases the risk of additional expense, and electric shock or fire, to the buyer and their family. We’re encouraging people to use a registered electrician to do a quick and relatively inexpensive check to ensure they know exactly what they’re getting into with the property purchase.’

What is an EICR?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report inspects the state of the switches, sockets, wiring and any other power sources in a property to check they comply with international safety standards.

Similar to a home or building survey, you can get this done before contracts are exchanged on a property purchase.

They need to be done by qualified electricians and will involve a visual inspection to identify any overloaded or broken power sources as well as electrical testing to make sure all the connections are safe and correct.

Costs will vary depending on who you use and where you live but expect to pay £140 to £200. There may be more to pay if anything needs to be fixed but this could help you negotiate the purchase price and save you money in the future.

There is no legal requirement to get an electrical report when buying a residential property but since December landlords in Scotland have been put under a legal requirement to ensure their rented properties are electrically safe by providing regular reports, or they may face fines.

Any tenant moving into a rental property in Scotland since December 2015 must be provided with a copy of an EICR accompanied by a Portable Appliance Test for movable objects such as microwaves.

These rules do not apply to landlords in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


– Check the property has RCD protection in the fusebox

– Ensure that plugs and sockets are not damaged

– Check that visible cables and leads are in good condition

– Check that the light fittings are not visibly damaged and that downlighters are in good working condition

– Before exchanging contracts make sure you have had a registered electrician conduct an Electrical Installation Condition report done, this will ensure your new home is safe and you aren’t left holding the bill; a full rewire can run into thousands of pound.

Electrical Safety First has a free ‘Home electrical safety checks’ app to conduct a visual check of the electrics in the property, which walks you through what to look out for in each room.

Thanks to Marc Shoffman for

The Dangers of Buying or Selling a Home without an Electrical Inspection

Are you buying or selling a home?

Does it come with the necessary Electrical Certificates? (Installation Certificates OR Electrical Condition Report)?

If not then read on to find out why this might cause problems with your selling or buying process.

If in any doubt, I have a free 5 point guide here. This helps you to identify if an Inspection is needed.

Buying a Home

When buying you need to know if it is safe.

But have you considered what not knowing might mean?

Many people think that this just means expense to put things right. Well, ok, that may be true. Although not every job or repair is expensive. Some are more cosmetic, as opposed to needing a complete rewire. In fact many things can be put right without too much expense.

But here’s the thing!

If you aren’t aware of the condition of the wiring in your new home, it’s not just safety. It’s not just expense. But it could also be a major hassle in future. For that ignored wiring can and will show up in many forms. From burning out of loose connections or worn parts. To flickering or even power loss. Did you know that flickering can sometimes means overheating? Loose connections also cause overheating.

But that’s not all!

When you move on to your new home, you crack on and start painting and making good. You start adding your touches to “make your mark”. And that’s all great too. Eventually it’s all done a looking great.

But that wiring that you did’t get checked (and that didn’t come certified) is playing up worse than ever.

Eventually (maybe many months later) you get someone round to check it out. To your surprise there are some issues that have to be put right. Thankfully you aren’t in a bad position. Most things are fine. But (for arguments sake) you find that the Downstairs sockets need rewiring. This is the one that a Kitchen fitter altered a few years back, and never certified.

The work gets done properly now, but all that nice decorating has to get channeled out to be able to run the new cables. But fortunately in this case it was just one circuit and only 4 rooms. Phew!

But what if this had been detected at the point you bought the property?

If an Electrical Inspection had been carried out then, you could have:

  • Had it Inspected before moving in, so that you were armed with the information you need
  • Haggled the price of sale if any work was needed (or asked the seller to have it done)
  • Moved in with the knowledge that you can carry out decorating, without any disruption (or re-decorating) down the line

So can you see how valuable an Electrical Inspection would be?

I have written a  5 – Step Guide to help determine if a property needs an Electrical Inspection or not.

You can get download this FREE guide here.

Selling a Home

When it comes to selling, ok you are not concerned with cost or safety. Not as much as the buyer anyway. As you are leaving it behind for them to take ok, right?

Obviously you don’t want to leave it in a bad state. And if that is not the case then great. That’s good.

However when it comes to getting your asking price, supplying certificates can make a difference.

Nobody wants to move into a house if they have any doubts about the state of the wiring.

And if they do have doubts, they would want to know that it is not going to be an expensive job to put right.

So if you spot anything that causes concern, then so will they!

Remember a buyer is likely to be critical and looking for issues as they look around.

So if you have the paperwork for your installation work (and that means ALL of it, including later work that was carried out). Then that’s great.

But if there is anything missing, or you have nothing at all, then imagine how much easier it would be if you had something to provide. The way to provide certificates when you have no Electrical Installation Certificate, is to provide an Electrical Instalation Report instead.

If you are unsure if you need one or not, then check out our guide.


And in the meantime, if you know of anyone else that is in the process of moving, then send them the link to this blog too. Contact me for any further questions.

Good Vs Bad

Ever wondered what the difference is? Well, it involves a very simple check, but firstly what other factors should you be looking at before deciding who is a good electrician and who is a bad electrician. The answer is found right at the end of this post (in case you are wondering.)

Is is not easy to spot who is good and who is bad at face value. This is why I always recommend doing some digging about and researching an electrician that you feel might fit the bill for your next job. Carrying out a few basic checks can save you a lot of trouble further down the line.

One of the key aspects within the business of a good electrician is responsibility. It is the over-riding element of everything an electrician does. Naturally, this includes full responsibility of each and every job taken on and for the on going life of the installation once complete. This normally takes the form of a guarantee, the length of which does vary. Here at North Electrics, we put our name and reputation behind every job we take on and this is backed up by a six year warranty on all electrical work.

In contrast, a bad electrician would demonstrate very little, if any responsibility, would produce sub standard, shoddy work and this work would be unlikely to carry any kind of guarantee meaning they would have no thought for the welfare of their customers and they are just in the game to make a few quid, and their attitude is likely to resemble the same should they be challenged by an unhappy customer. Furthermore, there is no come back on the job once this electrician has left.

A good electrician sees the bigger picture. Tell a good electrician what job you need doing and their mind is instantly ticking – is this the best solution for the customer? Can the customer save money by having the job done in a different way? A bad electrician will just do the job without any thought.

Looking through an electrical forum the other day which pondered a similar subject and I came across a post which summarised very well the difference between a good electrician and a bad electrician “A bad electrician finishes the job, looks at his work, isn’t happy but still leaves it how it is. A good electrician finishes the job, looks at his work, and if he isn’t happy changes his work until he is.” Actually, in this scenario, the bad electrician did demonstrate a good quality, and that is he looked at his work, I’m not sure many bad electricians do actually look at their work in a serious way.

A good electrician will also understand the electricity regulations and how they impact on the job in hand and takes seriously the need to keep up to date with new and changing regulations. Simply doing a job because that’s the way you’ve always done it or ‘parrot fashion’ is not providing a great service.

Repeat custom is another indicator of how good you are as an electrician. Here at North Electrics, I work with many letting agents and landlords throughout Stockton and Middlesbrough. I also have a large customer base of word of mouth recommendations. I feel this is a great way of obtaining relevant feedback (freely) on my performance as an electrician.

Furthermore, a good electrician will also hold industry recognised qualifications, have relevant experience and take pride in their work.

A bad electrician may not have any of the above, which certainly poses the question – is there any such thing as a bad electrician? If they are this bad they are not electricians!