As a letting agent or landlord, you have a various number of safety obligations to meet regarding your property’s electrical installations. If you fail to protect your tenants from electrical failures and shocks you could be issued a large fine, it also invalidates insurance policies.
In this article we will explain your responsibilities as a landlord and how you can ensure you are compliant and that your tenants are 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 by contacting us today.
DO LANDLORDS AND LETTING AGENTS NEED AN ELECTRICAL SAFETY CERTIFICATE?
An electrical safety certificate is officially called an “electrical installation condition report” or EICR for short. These reports are sometimes also referred to as electrical safety certificates, periodic inspection report or landlord safety test.
As mentioned above, an EICR must be carried out by law every five years in a “House In Multiple Occupation". This means that if a property if occupied by three or more people who form more then two households. For example, that could mean a student house, bed site or similar.
Whilst landlords of single occupation rental properties are not required by law to have an EICR completed, they are required by law to ensure that all 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 highly recommended to be completed every 5 years by a registered electrician. To find out more about EICRs’s and electrical testing please click here.
DO LANDLORDS AND LETTING AGENTS NEED PAT?
PAT stands for Portal Appliance Testing and is not a legal requirement for homeowners. The law does mention that all the electrical appliances or equipment within the rental property much be safe to use.
It is down to the Landlord or Letting Agent to ensure that this is completed and complied to throughout the tenancy. If they are not complied to then the landlord will be liable should an accident occur dur to an unsafe electrical appliance.
We recommend annual PAT testing of all moveable equipment within the property, this may include items like fridges, toasters, kettles etc… This is to ensure that your appliances are safe to use throughout the tenancy. Find out further information about our electrical testing services.
FIRE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS IN RENTAL PROPERTIES
From 1st October 2016, all private landlords in England are required to be installed a smoke alarm on every story of their property. These alarms must be tested and fully working before the start of each tenancy. Additionally, if the property has a solid burning appliance such as an open wood fire then a carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted in the same room!
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.
- 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 that can trust and rely on, regardless if it’s a quick light switch change or an electrical installation condition report. Here at FBS Electrical Thanet, we can help you stay compliant and help to keep your tenants safe.
We are NICEIC approved contractors and are well known in the Thanet and Kent Area. Contact us today and one of our friendly team will give you a callback.