Landlords – What Are Your Electrical Safety Obligations?
As a landlord or letting agent, you have a number of safety obligations to meet in regards to your properties’ electrical installations.
Failure to protect your tenants can result in huge fines, invalidated insurance policies and most importantly, an increased risk of harm to your tenants.
Find out more about your responsibilities as a landlord and how to ensure you stay compliant and keep your tenants safe.
Electrical Obligations For Landlords – What The Law Says
By law, you must ensure that:
- All electrical installations in your rental property are in a safe condition at the beginning and throughout the duration of the tenancy.
- Any appliances provided to tenants are safe and have the CE marking. Appliances include things like cookers, kettles, toasters etc.
- An electrical condition report is carried out every five years by a qualified electrician. This only legally applies to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
- You must fit a smoke alarm on every story of a rental property.
Note - From 1st October 2018, new licensing schemes are coming into place - find out what this means for your electrical safety obligations here.
Do Landlords and Letting Agents Need An Electrical Safety Certificate?
Officially called an ‘electrical installation condition report’ or EICR, these reports may also be referred to as electrical safety certificate, landlord safety test, periodic inspection report or homebuyers test.
As stated above, the law says that an EICR must be carried out once every five years in a House in Multiple Occupation, this is a property occupied by three or more people who form more than two households; this could be a student house, professional house share or similar.
However, whilst landlords of single occupation rental properties are not legally required to have an EICR carried out, they are required by law to ensure that electrical installations in the rental property are in a safe condition at the beginning and throughout the duration of the tenancy.
For this reason, an EICR is recommended to be carried at least every 5 years, by a registered electrician. You can find out more about EICRs here.
Do Landlords and Letting Agents Need PAT?
Again, PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) is not a legal requirement, but the law does state that all electrical equipment within a rental property must be safe to use.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure this throughout the tenancy and they will be liable should an accident occur due to an electrically unsafe appliance.
To ensure your appliances are safe to use throughout the tenancy, we recommend annual PAT of all moveable equipment in the property, this includes items like fridges, toasters, kettles and microwaves. Find out more about our electrical testing services.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms In Rental Properties
As of 1st October 20165, all private landlords in England must fit a smoke alarm on every story of their property. The alarms must be tested and working before the start of each tenancy. Check out our video guide to testing and maintaining your smoke detector below.
Additionally, a carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted in every room that has a solid burning appliance such as an open wood fire.
Other Electrical Safety Recommendations For Landlords
Here are a few other recommendations to ensure you’re not leaving your tenants at risk of electrical injury:
- Ensure that your property has adequate RCD protection. Check out our video guide to trip testing your RCD.
- Encourage your tenants to report any common electrical problems they may notice throughout their tenancy.
- Have a full electrical installation condition report carried out by a registered electrician in-between tenancies. For shorter tenancies, a visual inspection may be more appropriate.
- Use a registered electrician to carry out any electrical work in your property (even the smaller jobs), this ensures you comply with Part P of the building regulations.
Your Local, Friendly Electrician
Every landlord needs an electrician they can rely on, whether it’s a quick socket change, electric installation condition report or full property rewire – we can help you stay compliant and keep your tenants safe.
We are NICEIC approved contractors and Which? Trusted Traders, well known in the Bristol and Bath areas for over 25 years. Give one of our friendly team a call today on 0117 303 9000 or fill out a contact form below and we’ll get back to you.