Buying, Selling Or Renting Out A Property? Don't Forget These Safety Checks
I worked in Estate Agency for years, so know more than a thing or two about home safety. I mean your actual home, as in the building you live in. Not the practice of keeping safe while you are at home (which in itself is something worth looking at) but rather all the things you have to ensure are kept current and compliant regarding the state of your home.
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you’re going to make in your life, so you need to get it right.
If you’re a first-time buyer, you might not be aware of some of the things we’re going to discuss, so this post is for you.
First of all, What is an EICR?
An EICR is a document that you can obtain from an electrician or electrical engineer after they’ve conducted a comprehensive assessment of your home electrical systems. You may need this before you buy/sell a property if it has undergone a lot of electrical work, to confirm that your property meets the minimum regulatory and legal requirements for the area you live in. You may also hear of it as a ‘homebuyers test’ or ‘landlord safety test’.
The EICR will ensure that all electrical installations and systems on your property have been correctly installed and are correctly maintained.
If you are having a mortgage, the lender will likely send a surveyor to the property. It is also advisable to get an independent surveyor to ensure that your home is compliant and safe in the areas of plumbing, structural safety, the age and state of the roof (often overlooked and something that can have costly implications), and the state of mould, damp or water damage if any.
In the UK, we also have energy certifications that tell prospective buyers what the energy efficiency is on your home. Referred to as an ‘EPC’ (energy performance certificate), an EPC is intended to inform all potential buyers of your home (or tenants) about the energy performance of your house. The higher the rating, the better your green credentials will be.
You can find out more about EPC’s in the UK, here.
FENSA certificates for windows and doors.
FENSA is a certificate that is given to people who have had any replacement doors or windows in their homes since 2002. You might need to supply this certificate when you sell your house, and if you have not lived in the home since 2002, you need to verify your home’s records to double-check if any work has been taken out on your home.
Documentation relating to extensions and alterations.
If you have extended your home or altered the structure by removing internal walls, you’ll need proof that all legal processes were adhered to. A suitably qualified contractor or service provider that undertook the work on your behalf will be able to obtain these documents for you.
Not all refurbishments require permission, but it is the duty of the homeowner to ensure that you complied with building regs and the law as it pertains to the area you live in.