Should you invest in an electrical installation condition report?

Many home buyers who invest in a full survey incorrectly assume that this also includes an electrical inspection. This is not the case and buying a property without an electrical installation condition report is a very risky proposition because electrical issues are often expensive to put right.

Two-thirds of people buying a home do not have the electrics checked by a qualified professional and many come to regret this decision, as one-third of home buyers discover a problem shortly after their purchase. On average, this will cost them £1,700 to put right and could even be much more costly if a full rewire is required.

There are regulated standards that electrical installations must meet in order to be safe. If there are faults with the fuse board or sockets and switches, this could cause electric shocks or fires, harming the occupants and damaging property. A visual inspection will not include wires and cables that are hidden from view and will fail to detect potential electrical issues.

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What is an electrical installation condition report?

It is worth investing in an electrical installation condition report in order to find out the condition of the existing electrical installation within the property. This must be carried out by a registered electrician, who will assess the safety of the electrical installation in the property and find any problems that need to be corrected. This will cover many parts of the system, including lighting, switches and sockets, consumer units and protective bonding.

The purpose of the survey is to confirm as far as possible whether it’s safe to continue using the electrical installation or not. The report will state whether the electrical installation is in a ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ condition and will also include a list of observations which are affecting the safety or in need of improvements. The report will include codes showing whether there is danger present and risk of injury, with immediate action required or whether further investigation is necessary, or improvements are recommended.

How much will it cost?

So how much will a homebuyers survey cost? This will depend on the type of survey your home requires. The cost of a full building survey will be higher than a homebuyers report because it takes more time and covers more areas. A Victorian home will require a far more in-depth survey than a purpose-built flat, constructed within the last 70 years. You can find out more information about what type of report you need and their costs online at sites such as The cost of the survey will be less than the potential cost of an electrical fire and will give you peace of mind.

According to a report by Electric Safety First, electricity fires affect over 20,000 UK homes every year. 89% of the fires are caused by electrical items and 11% are due to faulty wiring. By inspecting electrical installations, many of these incidents could be avoided.

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Just as with getting your boiler serviced or taking your car for its MOT, it is important to get a registered professional to carry out an electrical installation condition report. The charity Electrical Safety First recommends having the checks every ten years in a private property and recommends landlords should have one with each change of tenant or every five years.

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