Why should landlords care about electrical safety checks?
As a caring landlord you probably already have the electrical installations within rented properties under your control inspected and tested on a regular basis. We know that in recent times being a landlord can be far from a rewarding position, however, are you aware that failing to maintain, inspect and test the electrical installations within these properties can leave you open to prosecution.
Under the consumer protection act 1987 it is illegal to rent a property that is in an unsafe condition, the only way to know this is for sure is through regular inspection and testing. More and more local authorities are also introducing selective licencing within the areas they are responsible for, this puts an even greater burden on landlords and makes sure that the properties rented out within these areas are safe and to a satisfactory standard.
Every year around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes are caused by faulty electrics and electrical equipment. Almost half of all domestic fires are caused by electricity. And if you live in a privately rented property, statistics show that you are at a higher risk of electric shock.
There is confusion amongst landlords and tenants over who has responsibility for electrical safety in rented properties. By law, the landlord must ensure that electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. And the tenant, they should feel obliged to flag electrical problems as soon as they appear, as well as maintain any electrical items you bring into the house.
A Landlord should be able to produce on request:
A report confirming that the electrical installation has been assessed and is safe to use (called an Electrical Installation Condition Report, previously referred to as a Periodic Inspection Report or PIR). ElectriciansOnCall recommends that a periodic inspection and test of the electrical installation should be carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years or on change of tenancy, this is normally the same period of time recommended by local authorities. A shorter pereiod of time may be recommended by the inspecting electrician depending on the results of the inspection and testing carried out at the time.
Certification confirming that any recent electrical work meets the UK national standards BS 7671.
If you have reported a problem to your landlord and he or she has refused to put the situation right or ignored your request, you should contact your local authority who will be able to help you. Local authorities will ensure a landlord is meeting their legal obligations and can take enforcement action against them. This help is available for both social and private rented properties.
ElectriciansOnCall have been successfully providing this service to homeowners, social and private landlords and commercial property owners since 1997. Whether you have a single bedsit, a large portfolio of properties or an HMO we can advise and assist on your legal responsibilities. Make sure you are not liable should the worst happen. Get safe, get tested. Contact your local office today for free advice, to arrange and appointment or to request an immediate emergency callout 24 hours a day.