Home Health & Safety Why performing tests before buying a property is important

Why performing tests before buying a property is important


Be it commercial or residential, before buying a property it’s essential to make sure that everything is in its place and fully functional. Since any defect revealed after the deal will not only be counted as a loss but result in additional, unnecessary costs adding up to your bills. Moreover, it isn’t always about the costs, sometimes, it may have fatal consequences.

Take electrical defects as an example, or if we go a level high, gas defects! In any case, either you will experience an electrical shock, minor or major explosion (especially in gas defects), or in the worst-case scenario, even a house fire.

 And guess what, that’s one of the many aspects we just went through, without throwing light at what things like roof leakages, walls damage, gutter leakages, and whatnot can cause to your property and you.

Therefore, to make sure that any defect like that remains a consequence of mere misfortune, we will discuss some major tests and reasons why performing those tests before buying a property is important.

Follow the article thoroughly to know more!

1.   General Home Inspection

When introspecting your property, you must want to start with something that covers the general aspects of your to-be-bought house before digging into complications. For that, a general home inspection is compulsory. It is performed by a professional home inspector who will check the external and internal condition of various parts of your property that includes:


  • Leaking/failing roof
  • Wood/trim rot
  • Chimney cracking
  • Water leakages/Potential penetration
  • Structural issues
  • Faulty/damaged windows
  • Faulty bulkhead (if present)


  • Structural cracks
  • Air conditioning system
  • Old heating system (to be discussed in detail in CP12 gas safety test)
  • Broken skylights/windows
  • Electrical issues (superficially, for detailed inspection EICR is performed which is to be discussed in detail)
  • Leaks in boiler pipes

Well, that was just a general test necessary to satisfy your heart before you proceed in the process. It ensures that the property at least “looks” good apparently. For detailed inspection, the following tests should be carried out:

2.   PAT test

Although there’s a small number of portable appliances left in a property left for sale, you must make sure that whatever is left is working in tip-top condition. And for that, PAT testing is mandatory. Known as a Portable Appliance Test extensively, it is a thorough inspection that covers every aspect of every appliance present in the property. It will help you determine if there’s any minor or potential fault in anything.

Moreover, will also let you know if they can pose any major threat in terms of safety. The PAT test holds an important status among the numerous tests that we are about to discuss, as it not only saves you from the often-ignored scams most house owners make to the buyers but also saves you a lot of money. This is in a sense that not only do you pay full price for everything included in the property, but will also have to bear additional expenses of different repair and replacement works.

You must consult an experienced electrical Engineer to carry out the PAT test. After the consultant is sure about the conditions of the appliances, a certificate will be handed to the landlord/owner. Make sure to ask for it and confirm that it is less than 2 years old.

3.   Gas Safety Certificate/ CP12

When moving in to or buying a residential/commercial property, make sure to ask the owner to show you the gas safety certificate. It’s a reassurance of the statement that the property is certified safe by gas safe engineers after a thorough examination of all the gas systems and appliances present in the building. If the owner doesn’t have a CP12 certificate or have one older than 1 year, it’s your lawful right to demand a new one. If any information regarding CP12 is falsified, the property owner stands accountable for a penalty of 6 months in prison, and a hefty fine.

Here’s what a Gas Safety Certificate ensures:

  • Proper operation of appliances in terms of pressure
  • Proper gas consumption/ No leakage
  • Adequate air supply/ proper ventilation of the gas appliances
  • Safe discharge of gases through flues and chimneys
  • Gas alarms/ Carbon Monoxide detectors are working properly

What Gas Safety Certificate contains:

  • Name, ID number, and signature of a gas safe engineer
  • Date of inspection
  • Name and address of the landlord and letting agent
  • Property address
  • Location of each gas appliance checked
  • Problems detected/ Measures required to resolve them
  • Confirmation of the work being done as per legislation from the gas safe engineer
  • Date of next scheduled safety check

A CP12 certificate is not only an assessment of the property’s gas system but proof that you and your family are shifting to a house where you can live in a completely safe environment with peace of mind.

4.   EICR report

Well, due to its status of not being a legal requirement while buying or selling a house, this test is often neglected by many, which it shouldn’t be. An EICR report is a formal document with complete electrical system details issued after the complete assessment of a property’s electrical installation. The test includes a detailed checking of every electrical part of a household, from different angles including the age, condition, and efficiency of the system.

A typical EICR report will tell you about:

  • Issues present in the circuit that can damage the system due to overheating.
  • Any parts of the system that can serve as a fire hazard
  • Issues with earthing system
  • Potential shock hazards

Just in case any of such defects are identified in the list, they will be listed one by one as per fault codes. Moreover, it will also notify you about the fixes you can apply to get rid of them. The test will take a couple of hours or even days, depending on the size of your property and the complexity of the system.

Make sure to hire a highly qualified electrician for a proper assessment if you’re a landlord, or have just shifted to a new house. Despite its exemption from legal formalities, it plays a major role in giving one ultimate satisfaction in terms of safety.

5.   Legionella Risk Assessment

As when buying a property, or a house specifically, it will count as your permanent residence, or at least you will spend a quarter of your life there. So in the duration that you will spend in the house, you want to make sure no health hazard affects your family.

Whilst the aforementioned tests are highly prioritized by everyone, seldom is the importance of Legionella Risk assessment highlighted, despite its critical status in UK law. As per legal implementations, Legionella Risk Assessment holds a conspicuous legal position in the light of Section 53 of HSWA, L8 approved Code of Practice and The Control Of Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Here it should be mentioned that there is no Legal Certificate or form for a Legionella Risk Assessment or test specified by the law, however, the company or individual hired for the job will give the landlord a Legionella test certificate as proof to assure the newly shifting tenants or homeowners to the property. The same goes for commercial properties.

So just in case you are buying a property, this should be one of the top-listed things you must ask for from the landlord or property owner. It’s their moral and lawful responsibility to ensure tenants/buyers safety. Moreover, one you are the owner, the responsibility will shift to your shoulders, especially if the property is commercial.

6.   Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Some property costs less than the expenses that come with them. Ever wondered why? Because the property is less energy efficient. But the question is, how do we identify that the property you are buying is energy efficient? Well, that’s where the innocent buyers get confused.

To your fortune, now you can easily identify where the property stands in terms of energy efficiency by checking the Energy Performance certificate of the house.  The energy ratings range from A to G, expressing the condition of the house from good to worst as the letters pass from A to B, and so on. The minimum acceptable energy rating in England is E, lower than which makes the property ineligible to be sold/let.

Need Professional Assistance?

And that was pretty much it. If you are buying or selling a property and require any professional assessment before proceeding with the selling/buying process, Serviceteam can be your ultimate choice. We are a multi-service company operating all across greater London and its surroundings, providing high-quality service to our customers.

Be it repair, replacement, assessment, maintenance, refurbishment, or anything in between, we ensure each of our customers is left on a happy note with satisfaction. To consult our services or further queries, feel free to call us on 02039189611, or simply visit our main website at https://serviceteam.co.uk.


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