Electrical safety essentials for landlords
Landlords are legally required to make sure that electrics in rented properties are safe when tenants move in and are properly maintained.
Electrical Safety First outline the legal obligations in detail:
- That the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration.
- That a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on the property every five years.
If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, we recommend that an EICR is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at least every five years.
- That any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).
To meet the above requirements, landlords need to carry out regular basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.
Gov.uk reports that latest data from the English Housing Survey (2015-16) shows only 60% of homes in the private rented sector had all 5 recommended electrical safety features installed (compared to 74% of local authority homes and 76% of housing association homes). These 5 features are modern PVC wiring, modern earthing, modern consumer units, miniature circuit breakers and Residual Current Devices.
Irrespective of whether you have just the one rental home or a portfolio of properties, you risk serious fines and invalidated insurance (not to mention the risks tenants might be exposed to) by failing to comply with the regulations.
We have put together a list of essential pointers on electrical safety for landlords:
- Plan in (and budget for) regular testing and inspection on your properties. This report checks the condition of wiring, identifies any wear and tear or damage and if any part of the electrical installation poses any shock or fire hazards. You will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR) by the electrician.
- Consider an inspection of the property between tenancies to assess any damage or deterioration in standards
- Maintain and document care of appliances by carrying out regular PAT testing on all appliances. This includes storage heaters which can often be old and require attention.
- Ensure you have RCDs fitted – a Residual Current Device is a safety device that switches off electricity automatically if there is a fault. Since 2008, all circuits in new or rewired homes must include an RCD under the latest edition of BS 7671.
- Finally, and crucially, use a qualified and registered electrician for all electrical works. This is the only way to guarantee works are carried out to the latest regulations and industry standards. EVelec Ltd are Approved Contractors with the NICEIC.
Looking for help?
We work with a number of landlords and housing associations in Brighton and Hove, and across the South East, to ensure their properties are compliant with all electrical safety regulations. We offer a free consultation and survey to assess your properties and work out a plan of action to ensure you remain compliant.
Likewise, if you own a property and want to book in a Test and Inspection, replace a fuse board or repair any appliance please get in touch.