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Landlords – your electrical safety obligations
Electrical Safety First has found that landlords are exposing themselves to significant financial risks, from fines and invalidated insurance, through not acting on their electrical safety obligations.
Landlords are also putting millions of UK private tenants at risk of serious accident or fire. We have clarified your obligations for electrical safety in rental properties and provide a range of resources to help you keep your tenants safe.
Your responsibilities as a landlord
Landlords are required by law to ensure:
- 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 a periodic inspection 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 a periodic inspection and test 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 these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.
You will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR).
The inspection will:
- Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
- Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
- Identify any defective electrical work.
- Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.
How often is a periodic inspection required?
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
- 10 years for an owner-occupied home.
- 5 years for a rented home.
- 3 years for a caravan
- 1 year for a swimming pool.
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
- When a property is being prepared for letting.
- Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property.