Advice on Electrical Compliance for Home Buyers

Thursday, 21st January 2021

Buying a property can be a daunting task, and one of the most stressful things you can do. From finding the right home and raising the finance to buy, to sorting the legal documents and then making the move, there are so many things to think about, collate, check, sign, pack, move and unpack.

Within the process there are a number of essential items you need to check off though, amongst which your electrical compliance certificate is of the most important.

What is an electrical compliance certificate?

Since 2005 in England and Wales, all electrical work that is notifiable, whether carried out by a professional or as a DIY project, must meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations which states that any work carried out must be done in such a manner as to protect any person who might use, maintain or alter the electrical installation of that building from fire, injury and electric shock.

To prove that work has been carried out in this way, an electrical compliance certificate stating that the work has been carried out in accordance with British Standard BS7671 must be issued.

What electrical work is notifiable?

From April 2013 electrical work in a building, or associated with its surroundings, is notifiable to a local building control body where the work includes:

  • the installation of a new circuit, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage); or
  • the replacement of a consumer unit (fusebox); or
  • any alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a special location, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage. A special location is a room containing a bath or shower, swimming pool or a sauna heater.
  • An alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a room containing a bath or shower is notifiable only where carried out in the space surrounding a bath or shower.
  • An alteration or addition anywhere within a room containing a swimming pool or sauna heater is notifiable. 

 How can you protect yourself as a home buyer?

Oddly, in the United Kingdom, a home can still technically be sold without a compliance certificate, although it’s likely that the buyer’s solicitor will request one to be provided before continuing the purchase process.

As a home buyer, you should request records of all electrical work carried out in the property and check that where necessary, a certified electrician has undertaken the work and has provided the necessary electrical certificates.

It is worth noting that electricians who are registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) are able to do work, sign off certificates and notify the Local Building Control Body once the work has been completed.

It is thus highly-advisable to use only NICEIC registered electricians to carry out any inspection work and electrical tasks – as a home buyer, you’re able to search any previous work that has been done by a NICEIC electrical contractor through the site 

You can check the details of the Building Regulations Compliance Certificate via the number on the certificate or the address where the work was carried out, and you’re also able to obtain a copy of a certificate should you require one.

For any ongoing electrical work at your new home, ensure you always use a registered electrician. At ElectriCAL our team is highly trained and brings the necessary skills and competencies as well as equipment required to finish jobs on time and to the highest standards.

We are a NICEIC approved contractor and work under the Guarantee of Standards Scheme so you can rest assured your electrical work will be fully compliant.

Contact us on 07538 540287 or for more information.