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Electrical Installation Certificates (EIC)

What are they? Why do you need one? When do you need one? What to do if you've had work done without one?

What is an EIC?

EICs are a issued by qualified electricians to verify that the works being carried out are up to the current electrical wiring regulations BS 7671. They act as proof that the work you have had done was completed by a professional electrician and that it is safe.

Why do you need an EIC?

Certain types of electrical work require an EIC and without it your insurance may not pay out should any damage occur as a result of the work taking place. Lots of home insurance policies stipulate that any electrical work carried out on the property must be carried out and certified by a professional. This could mean that if you install a new circuit in your home and it causes damage, your insurance provider may not cover the damage - and let's face it, if they can find any way of getting out of paying, we all know they will. An EIC acts a proof for your insurance provider should the worst happen and you home be damaged or destroyed by any work you have had done. This also applies in the private rented sector for both landlords and tenants.

Another area where you may require an EIC would be on the purchase/sale of your property. Estate agents will use an EIC as a way of knocking down the asking price of a property and there are also legal actions to be wary of. Once a seller has accepted an offer on their property, their solicitor will ask them to complete a ‘TA6 – Seller’s Property Information Form’ which will be forwarded to the buyer’s solicitor. The form contains the following question:

“Has the property been rewired or had any electrical installation work carried out since 1 January 2005”.

If the answer is ‘yes’, the seller is asked to supply a copy of the EIC or Building Regulations Certificate.

Failing to disclose the works is not an option. If the buyer is subsequently injured by an uncertified installation, or the local authority takes enforcement action, the buyer could take legal action against the seller.

When do you need an EIC?

  • Installation of a new circuit.

  • Installation of a new consumer unit.

  • Any electrical works carried out in a special location e.g. bathrooms, shower rooms, swimming pools or saunas.

What to do if you didn't get an EIC?

Lots of people have electrical work completed without being issued an EIC. Most people would advise that you contact the original installer and get them to provide the paperwork but in a lot of scenarios this is not practical. A "quick fix" would be to get a certified electrician to carry out an EICR. This is basically an electrical safety check to ensure that the whole installation is safe for continued use. Although it cannot replace an EIC it is an official document stating the safety of the installation (and most estate agents don't know the difference).

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