How to check if a copy of a NICEIC domestic certificate is correct? | Checkatrade
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How to check if a copy of a NICEIC domestic certificate is correct?

Buying a house? Then you probably want to know whether any electrical work carried out meets the relevant standards and legislation. This isn’t just important to help ensure the conveyancing process goes smoothly – it’s also important for your safety!

If the work carried out required it, the electrician should have provided the homeowner with an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC).

If the electrician is registered with NICEIC, this would have been issued through NICEIC (the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting).

But what happens if the person you’re buying from has lost the original? Even if they have a copy of the certificate, there are no guarantees that it’s correct.

How to check if a copy of a NICEIC domestic certificate is correct

To check whether a copy of a NICEIC domestic certificate is correct – or get hold of the original – there are a few things you can do.

Contact NICEIC

NICEIC should have records of all certifications that passed through them.

If you contact NICEIC, they should be able to confirm the certification was correctly issued – and even send you the certificate. You’ll just need to give them a few details to help them track it down, such as your address, roughly when the work took place and, if you have it, the certificate reference number.

Contact the electrician

If you can find out who carried out the electrical work on the property, you can get in touch with the electrician to see if they can help you get hold of the EIC.

If it turns out that they never issued it in the first place, they may be happy to certify the work retrospectively. Technically, an electrical installation certificate should be issued within 30 days of the work being completed. However, in practice, it’s usually not a problem for an electrician to certify work beyond that date.

Just bear in mind that it’s illegal for an electrician to certify someone else’s work – so, if you want to go down this route, you must find the electrician who completed the work initially.

Contact your local authority

Finally, the local authority should have a record of the work carried out and should be able to provide the EIC for you.

Just bear in mind that some local councils are more helpful than others!

What to do if you can’t track down the NICEIC

If you can’t get hold of the certificate – or it turns out that this was never issued in the first place – this can delay the conveyancing process. Here are some alternative things you can do.

Redo the work

If the electrical work carried out was only minor, it may be an idea to simply ask another electrician to redo the work.

If you find a good local electrician, they should be able to help you understand what work needs to be done to meet regulations – just make sure that they’re registered. They can then issue you with a new EIC for the work they’ve completed.

Carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report

If you can’t get the original electrician to certify their work retrospectively, you can ask a certified electrician near you to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

This isn’t a substitute for the original EIC. Instead, it’s a kind of survey that confirms the condition of the electrics in the property – a bit like an MOT for a car! Some local authorities will accept it in place of an EIC as evidence of compliance.

Get indemnity insurance

The final option if you can’t get hold of the original certificate is to take out an indemnity insurance policy. This can also be a faster route if you’re already in the middle of the conveyancing process.

An indemnity insurance policy won’t guarantee that the electrical work is safe, but it will protect you from any costs that might spring up thanks to the missing EIC. In this way, it can often satisfy your solicitor that you’re protected.

Get the help of a professional

If you can’t find the original NICEIC certificate and you can’t track down the electrician who originally carried out the work, all is not lost. Just get in touch with a trusted and certified electrician.

They won’t be able to certify someone else’s work, but they could redo the work themselves or issue you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report. Either way, they’ll be able to advise you on the best way to move forward.

Read our guide to electrician hourly rates to learn more.

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