NICEIC test; second certificate needed?

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  • NICEIC test; second certificate needed?

    In May of this year my letting agents called an electrician to the property to rectify a problem with the dishwasher - it needed a new plug in the end. At the same time they asked the contractor to issue an NICEIC certificate. He did this at a cost of 100 pounds + Vat.

    6 weeks later the tenants reported a problem with the lights in the sitting room. The agents told me they would send an electrician to rectify the problem - the cost for this was 60 pounds + Vat -AND to issue an NICEIC certificate at a cost of 120 pounds.

    I responded that an electrician should see to the lights and make sure they were safe but that I did not want the NICEIC certificate.

    The agents responded that a "new law" had been "enforced" and I had no choice in the matter.I objected to the NICEIC test again but the agents went ahead with it anyway. So I have paid for two tests within a 7 week period at a cost of 230 pounds in total + VAt as well as paying for the lights and dishwasher to be fixed.

    I have complained strongly about the second test and demanded to know what the point of the first one was. I have also spoken to two other agents who have informed me that there is no "law" that makes these tests mandatory- which I knew anyway. Both these agents felt that a contractor issuing NICEIC certificates on a room by room basis was very strange. Although at 120 pounds a pop I can see the attraction of doing it this way.They were also clear that what the law requires is that a properly qualified electrician be called in to deal with any electrical issues - which obviously I have done.

    The agents who instructed the two tests to be done have since informed me in writing that they were acting under strict rules and regulations in doing so. They stated that any honourable agent would have done the same and that there is no room for compromise. They also said there was no room for discussion over this.

    I would like to make it clear that in the three years I have had my three properties on with these agents I have never once refused to let them call in a contractor if they have wanted to. I have never argued over costs and have always believed that agreeing to the non-mandatory NICEIC test on a yearly basis was the action of a responsible landlord.

    The agents are not members of any regulating body o I can't take it elsewhere. I have refused to pay for the second test and have told the agents I wish to terminate the contract. Where on earth do I stand with this though? I do not want to end up in court through non-payment of bills.

  • #2
    OK not sure as to legal position regarding certificate, but you seem to have already figured this out. However, you seem to be absolutely by the book. If you have not given them permission to acquire the second certificate, and in fact told them not to do so, then you most certainly should not pay them, and they cannot sue you for carrying out work without your permission. And totally agree you should terminate the contract, they do not sound like the best agents ever. I cannot see how you can possibly be legally in the wrong however, if you did not give permission you are not liable for the bills.

    *edit* the only thing I would advise you check is that in your contract there i not a clause requiring this. I would very much doubt it, but it is worth checking.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


    • #3
      Before you part with your money, ask the agent to point you in the direction of this 'new law' and under what regulations it applies.

      Sounds to me as the electrician and the agent have a nice little earner going


      • #4
        Unfortunately Red that was my first thought as well!


        • #5
          This is what is required!

          Electrical Safety in Dwellings comes under Part 'P' of the Building Regulations as from January 1st this year.

          It depends on the work that has to be done. If it involves something like adding a new circuit then it has to be carried out by a 'Competent Person' who is registered with a Part 'P' Self-Certification Schme, or if they are not considered to be a 'competent person' the building control dept of the local authority has to be notified who will then inspect the work.

          Small jobs such as replacing a socket outlet or light switch on an exisiting circuit need not be notified to building control, unless it is in a 'high-risk' area such as the kitchen or bathroom.

          Anybody can in fact do these jobs but it is recommended they are done by a 'competent person'.

          Anyone carrying out electrical work should follow the fundamental principles of BS 7671, the British Standard for Electrical Installations.

          The building control dept of all local authorities provide guidance on all of this, or alternatively locate the Building Regulations section of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster at

          The approved contractors are ELECSA, NICEIC, BRE Certification, British Standards Institute.

          To conclude - Your agent is talking bovine excrement and should return all your money forthwith. They are not allowed to deduct any money from your rental income without your prior authority, even if is to comply with a regulation. If it is in your terms of business with them it could easily be an unfair term, so you know what to do.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


          • #6
            From a document on Paul_F's link

            "A: You do not need to tell your local authority's Building Control Department about:

            repairs, replacements and maintenance work; or
            extra power points or lighting points or other alterations to existing circuits (except in a kitchen or bathroom, or outdoors)."

            So it seems your repair to the lighting circuit did not need a Part P Certificate.

            This is going to be a nice little earner for a lot of rouge Agents preying on unsuspecting LL's


            • #7
              NICEIC or other certificate issues.

              km l-j, i am sorry to hear you are having this problem, as others are very confused by this new law too - even some contractors. The initial periodic inspection report will cover your installation, and is detail on the report itself exactly what it does cover. Your later faul with the light, should have been repaired or replaced, and the job ended there...£60.00 was it? The second inspection, even if the agent or contractor says it comes under a law (none of which i am aware of as an NICEIC approved contractor), is not required. If the works was notifiable, at least a minor works certificate is issued, but again not for repairs, and part P only affects the kitchen and bathroom as far as internal rooms go. I would suggest you tell your agent you are not paying it, but are happy to do so if they can provide the laws or regulations they speak of in writing to you. I would like a copy of this if they manage to produce such document, and i will personally take it up with the NICEIC internally and give you their reply and standing on the matter.

              to recap, a report is a report, and if remedial works uncovered through the report need doing, they have their own certificate if applicable to the works, and a re-inspection is not required, but the cert then appends to the installation records, which should be made available at the next inspection.

              Hope this helps
              Elektratek Ltd

              Elektratek Ltd.

              For information only. No responsability is taken for any actions performed by use of this posted message.


              • #8
                niceic certification

                would like to add the following to lanloards or individuales who have electrical work caried out in premises . all electrical work in domestic premises must have a certificate this could be a minor works certificate its for repaires or replacement of any point lights or sockets or adding extra lights and sockets . this is to safe guard bgoth user and electrician this identifies which socket or item changed, this cdrtificate intails testing to make sure the circuit or item disturbed has no been compromised or left unsafe. as a Fully qulaified NICEIC electrician. These certificates have to be isued for each job and should cost vary from £35 to £40 each depending on how many you have to issue. also like to inform landlords that a initial electrical Periodic Inspection Report of a 3 bedroom house cannot be achived under 3.5 hours . Any first time initial test certificates isued which has not been fully inspected the person isuingac cerytificate in 1 to 1.5 hours is the electrician who charges for £50 to £75.These certificates are worth less do not fully inspected and do not reflect the instaltions condition . After a full nitial certificate the second isued by the same company can be shorter on the condition that no changes have been observed and the test results show no change this will take maximum 1 .5 hours at a cost from £50 to £75


                • #9
                  Just a small point

                  The contractor are required to issue certs as standard- this is a condition of their registration

                  The procedure is to issue a (minor works) certificate for every circuit you have worked upon, or issue 'small works cert' if there are several circuits (with the works detailed on the cert)

                  The letting agent are taking the proverbial.

                  I would write to the contractor and ask them to direct you to the relevant parts of the building / wiring regs they are quoting as 'law'


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