According to ELECSA the electrical safety organisation, electrical accidents in the home account for over 30 deaths, nearly 4,000 injuries and over 8,000 fires each year and as landlords, it is your legal responsibility to minimise the risk of an electrical accident happening in one of your rented properties.
Most of the accidents in the home involve faults in, or misuse of, domestic appliances, flexes, plugs or connectors. A large number are related to electrical maintenance or DIY activities. The major dangers to health from electrical accidents are from shock, burns, electrical explosion or arcing, fire, and mechanical movements initiated by electricity.
Electrical Safety Tips For Landlords
Ultimately and without seeing your property, we can’t advise a landlord on what needs doing in any specific rental property without a site inspection but the following guidelines are a good rule of thumb for landlords to work from:
- Ensure that a residual current device (RCD) is fitted to the fuse box. This helps prevent fatal electric shocks and provides protection against electrical fires.
- Carry out (or commission) regular tests on all electrical installations (and only use registered electricians, even for small jobs).
- Conduct regular visual inspections – frayed wires, scorching and broken plugs should be addressed immediately.
- Make sure tenants know and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch in the property.
- Give tenants copies of operating instructions for all appliances you provide.
- Pay special attention to any second-hand items you provide – make sure they’re thoroughly tested before they’re installed.
- Keep up to date with wiring and lighting regulations. There’s no law that says you have to install the latest systems, but best practice for landlords dictates that you keep them relatively modern.
Rules and best practice differ depending on where your property is. For instance, landlords in Scotland are now required by law to have a compulsory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) conducted every five years. Guidelines in Northern Ireland are similar to those in England and Wales, but the country does have its own consumer laws and legislation on electrical equipment which you should pay attention to as well.
There’s no such requirement in England and Wales although that is likely to change because of Grenfell (see), but you could fall foul of the Landlord and Tenant Act, which requires landlords to respond to any request for repairs in a timely manner. Fail to do so and you could be liable for fines or bans.
Regular Electrical Checks Legal Requirement For UK Landlords
Under current UK law there is no legal requirement for landlords to carry out regular checks for electrical safety in rented properties located in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, whereas there are different requirements in Scotland. In any event, this article is only aimed at landlords with properties in England.
However, significant proposed changes to electrical safety standards throughout the UK are in direct response to the fire at Grenfell Tower in London and the proposed changes are likely to include regular checks, higher minimum standards and more stringent laws and penalties, all of which can be read about here.
Landlords Electrical Services
As a landlord, you are responsible for providing a safe electrical environment for your tenants to live in and as one of the highest rated electricians on Trustatrader in the north west, you can’t do better than talk to us. Whatever size portfolio you have and wherever it is, we will help you fulfill your statutory obligations by providing a reliable service that also matches your financial needs.
Letting Agents Electrical Services
You may already have an established business relationship with one or more electricians but if you’re ever in need of quick backup we’d be happy to help. We have vans on the road and can quickly get to your landlords tenants if they are faced with an urgent electrical emergency.
Whatever your requirements and however many rental properties you manage, IO Power can assist with all of your electrical needs.
Please contact the office on 0333 577 0290