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Explaining what an electrical certificate is, how much they cost and how much they matter when you want to sell your house...

When it comes to selling a house, you have so much to think about – picking an estate agent, prepping your house for photos and viewings, hosting open days, picking a conveyancing solicitor and that’s before you’ve thought about what happens once you’ve found a buyer and the endless questions they’ll want answers for.

One of the things you’ll need to provide your buyer, and conveyancer, with is the certificates you need to sell your house, which leads to you questioning ‘do I need an electrical certificate to sell my house?’.

Is it something that you MUST provide your buyer with? Is it enough to put a buyer off your property?

We’re going to answer these questions for you, including what an electrical certificate is, how much they cost and why they do matter when it comes to selling…

What is an electrical certificate?

An electrical certificate, also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), is something that you’re given by a certified electrician engineer after they have checked all the wiring of a property and are sure it meets the required safety standards.

It is a declarative document that states that an installation is safe to have in use from the moment it was installed and tested.

An electrical certificate recognises electrical testing of switches, fuse boxes and sockets, whilst also outlining the amount of work that needs to be put in when installing an electrical system.

There are a number of different electrical certificates and which one you receive will depend on the type of inspection:

  • Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) -> An EIC is needed for all major installations including new units and circuits, sockets, switches and light fixtures in specific areas like bathrooms and kitchens

  • Minor Electrical Works Installation Certificate -> This certificate is used when installations are minor and in areas of the property like light fittings and socket installations

  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) -> This is a detailed report, rather than a certificate, which identifies damage, defects or deterioration that could turn into a potential hazard. It also notes a few observations in line with the BS 7671:2018 wiring regulations, whilst also providing some recommendations for improving the installations. Once this check is complete, you will receive an electrical installation certificate, with the condition of the electrics ranked into three codes (C1, C2, C3), with C1 showing the highest level of danger and C3 showing the lowest

Do I need an electrical certificate to sell my house?

Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to provide your buyer with an electrical certificate, if you do have one it’s likely to increase the value of your property, whilst also speeding up the process and giving the buyer one less thing to worry about.

If you’re not able to provide your buyer with an electrical certificate, then it will mean if they buy your property, they will have to pay for and organise this themselves, which can be a put-off for potential buyers.

Or they will ask you to get an electrical certificate yourself before they agree to exchange contracts, meaning you will have to put your time and money into this.

A buyer will know that if there’s no electrical certificate, and there’s no proof the electrics have been done correctly, then this could be because the electrics haven’t been done or checked by an electrician.

If electrics aren’t done correctly, the council or local authority can force you to rectify it (which can mean a full overhaul on all electrics), as well as the chance of facing a fine. This can be very costly, putting any potential buyer off buying your property completely.

Is it a legal requirement to have an electrical certificate?

As a landlord, it isn’t a legal requirement to have an electrical certificate, but it is a landlord’s responsibility to make sure their tenants are safe, and the electrics are in good working order.

However, when you have new electrical works fitted and carried out, it is now mandatory to receive a certificate from an electrician, once you have had your electrical inspections carried out.

It became mandatory by law for a homeowner to get an electrical certificate after reports of a series of fires that were found to have started as a result of irresponsible electrical installations.

If an accident related to electricity occurs, a landlord or homeowner may be charged as a criminal, meaning they may incur a £5000 fine or be at risk of serving a 6-month prison sentence.

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How much does an electrical certificate cost UK?

An electrical safety certificate comes at a differing cost depending on the type of property where the work needs to be done.

The average prices for different housing types are in the table below:

Type of houseCost of certificate
One bedroom flat£100 to £150
Two bedroom flat£120 to £170
Three bedroom flat£180 to £230
One or two bedroom house£150 to £200
Three or four bedroom house£200 to £250
Five bedroom house£300 or more

Figures taken from My Conveyancing Specialist

Electrical certificates are delivered over email and so if you want them in paper form, you will be charged a further fee.

How long does it take to get an electrical certificate?

An electrical inspection normally takes around 2 to 4 hours to complete, depending on the size of the property and also the number of electricians that are available. It will require getting a certified electrician to come to inspect all electronics of the property, so if your property has a large number of sockets, switches, fuses, etc then this will take a lengthy amount of time.

What certificates are needed when selling a house?

When it comes to selling a house, there are certain certificates which you will NEED, rather than ones which are just good to have.

We have written a full article on this if you’re wanting to know full details, but for a quick overview on what certificates are needed when selling a house:

  • Proof of identity – you must provide two forms of identity to show that you’re who you say you are and also your proof of address

  • Title deeds – you must prove the property you’re selling belongs to you and is, therefore, yours to sell. A title deed proves this, by outlining the past and present ownership of your property and any associated land

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – an EPC is a visual representation of your homes’ CO2 impact and therefore its carbon footprint. This is quickly becoming something that more buyers are interested in and conscious of

  • Share of freehold/leasehold document – if your property is classed as a share of freehold or leasehold, then you will require the documentation which outlines the tenure structure and/or terms of the lease

  • Leasehold information pack – if you own a leasehold property, it’s a good idea to reach out to the freeholder to get a leasehold information pack, as this contains all information that your buyer will want to know about the property, including details of the leasehold agreement, building insurance and any disputes that relate to the property

  • Fixtures and fittings form (TA10) – this form details exactly what will be removed from the property and what will be left on completion. A fixture is anything which is attached to the building, e.g. a fireplace, whereas a fitting is something that isn’t attached to the property, e.g. beds and sofas

  • Property information form (TA6) – this form is filled out by you, the seller, where you make the buyer aware of all the important details about your property

  • Offer acceptance – this is a letter of confirmation of the offer you have received and your acceptance of it

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Why do Electrical certificates matter?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, whilst providing your potential buyers isn’t a legal obligation, it is something that can make or break a deal.

If you’re unable to provide a buyer with an electrical certificate, they have no proof that any of the electrics work correctly in your property, meaning by purchasing your property they run a huge risk that they may be forced to have the house completely rewired and face a hefty fine.

As a result of this, buyers will often stay away from properties and sellers that don’t have an electrical certificate or at least can’t prove they have one.

Being able to prove your property has an electrical certificate will also make the whole process a lot smoother and happen a lot quicker.

An electrical certificate doesn’t only give the buyer peace of mind that the property’s electrics comply with the law, but also that the property is safe to living, will be cost-effective, as there’s no risk of overloaded circuits or equipment overheating, and that the property’s carbon footprint and energy consumption is regulated.

This is something that is becoming increasingly more important, with ON Energy finding that 89% of prospective buyers want sustainable homes that are kind to the planet, making an electrical certificate an even more important part of selling your home.

Don’t have an electrical certificate and don’t have the time or money to get one?

We can help you out!

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses, buying any property in any location and condition - we’re not worried about buying a house with no proof of electrical certificate.

We cover all the fees, including estate agent and solicitor fees, whilst also handling the whole process for you, making it as hassle-free as possible – all we need you to do is sign on the dotted line!

The offer you get from us will be a cash offer, meaning it’s the amount you will get in FULL in your bank!

We have over 50 years combined experience and we’re rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, showing you with us, you’re in safe hands. We can also complete quickly, with our average completion time being 2-3 weeks, allowing you to get moved into a new house ASAP.

So, instead of worrying to yourself and asking, ‘do I NEED an electrical certificate to sell my house?!’, give us a call or fill in our online form for a no-obligation, CASH offer to sell your house fast, even if you don’t have an electrical certificate!

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a Content Producer who enjoys writing articles, finding out about the property market, keeping you up to date with the latest trends.