Homeowners – The “Stick” Bit
Insurance companies want to try their best to make a profit, they will actively look for ways NOT to pay out on a claim. If you make a claim on your house or contents policy due to an incident caused by an electrical fault, they may send around a claims adjuster to investigate why this may have happened and discover building work not done properly with no Electrical Certificate (or follow up EICR as a substitute). You will have great difficulty with that claim!
If that electrical fault resulted in a fire that was enough to bring out the Fire Service they are required to investigate why the fire happened and produce a report that ALL insurance companies have access to if they request it. If there is no Electrical Certificate or EICR where one is needed - you not only have potentially lost your home due to Fire but in addition cant get it repaired unless you re-mortgage (repair costs can be the re-build cost of £100,000’s) or face bankruptcy!
Finally, if you ever employ any type of tradesman/woman in your house (i.e. carpet layer, painter, washing machine repair person) your home becomes their place of work. Since you are “employing” them, under the “Health & Safety at work etc Act” your home becomes their place of work and you are responsible for their safety under certain circumstances.
This wouldn’t normally matter since the tradesperson is either “Self Employed” or “Employed by a company” and is responsible for their own safe method of work, Personal Protective Equipment and tools & equipment etc, but what they have no reasonable influence over is the safe working condition of your house electrics, which if faulty and they get electrocuted may lead to you being prosecuted and fined up to £5000.
About to Buy a Home, or Just Bought One
If you are buying a home you may be aware of getting a detailed survey, but if you read through carefully it may say something like “may need re-wiring” – which means the building surveyor is just that – a surveyor – he is not a qualified electrician and hasn’t a clue how good the electrics are.
An EICR is a professional electrical survey. A re-wire is not something you want done AFTER you have moved in, it means floorboards up, walls cut into, skirting board off, then re-wire, new plastering, skirtings & painting & decoration. All things that need an empty house to do cost effectively.
The re-wire could cost circa £4,000 to £6,000, then plastering, joinery, decorating and you could be spending £10,000 to £15,000.
Better to have been prepared, negotiate the asking price down by that much and have it done before you move in.