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 and fines of £30,000 per breach of safety rules.
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.
New legislation introduce in July 2020 will mean all private landlords are required to have the fixed electrical installations in all rented properties inspected, tested and certified as satisfactory and safe for continued use. This must happen at least every 5 years or, on change of tenant, whichever is soonest. Failure to comply, or to ignore remedial work that has been recommended as required, in order to bring the installation up to a safe standard within 28 days will result in fines of up to £30,000 per breach of the regulations. In order to have this inspection carried out landlords are expected to use a suitably qualified, insured and experienced electrician. A full list of electricians assessed and approved to carry out this type of inspection can be found at The Electrical Competent Person website. Click HERE to access this list. Failure to use a approved electrician can also put you in breach of these regulations.
A Landlord must issue a satisfactory Electrical Installation Conditon Report to every tenant within 28 days from the start of the tenancy:
ElectriciansOnCall are fully registered to carry out this type of inspection and have been doing so for clients for over 20 years.
Although the regulations state that the inspection must take place at least every 5 years, a shorter period of time may be stipulated by the inspecting electrician depending on the results of the inspection and testing carried out at the time.
If requested by the local authority, the completed report must be provided by the landlord within 7 days.
This regulation came into force in July 2020 for new tenancies. For existing tenancies, landlords should be prepared by April 2021. If however you are a tenant, and you have reported a problem to your landlord regarding your electrical installation 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 privately rented properties.
ElectriciansOnCall have been providing this professional inspection service to social, private and commercial landlords 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're 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.