Landlords – your electrical safety obligations

Pat Testing LandlordsAs a landlord, if you letting property part or fully furnished then you are required to make sure that all electrical portable appliances are regularly PAT tested for safety. If you have many properties that need testing I can either meet at each location or between us we can arrange suitable times with your tenants for me to visit. I am available in or out of normal working hours.

 

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

An electrical safety check must be commissioned prior to the commencement of a tenancy, and must be carried out by a competent person (a Part P qualified electrician in kitchens and bathrooms) to ensure that the electricity supply, and all appliances, are legal. This includes supplying instruction books where needed for safe use. IMPORTANT: Failure to comply with the Electrical Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 that carries a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a £5000 fine and/or six months imprisonment. This Legislation means that Landlords have a legal obligation and a duty of care to tenants to ensure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment supplied is safe. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations have been mandatory since 1st January 1997. They state that all electrical appliances with let accommodation must be safe. This applies to both new and second-hand appliances and covers all electrical items supplied for the intended use of the Tenant. The regulations also cover fixed appliances such as cookers etc. The only method of insuring that these appliances are safe is to have them tested by a trained electrical engineer using the portable appliance testing equipment, known as a (PAT) test. What does this mean? All electrical systems/items must be: • Certified safe when a tenancy begins • Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy • Maintained only by ‘competent persons’ • Fit for purpose and free of defects. What should I as a landlord do? As a minimum, have an annual electrical safety inspection (i.e. the Enhanced Electrical inspection or”E2”), which includes the electrical equipment. Ensure any installation or maintenance works are done by Part P ‘competent persons’.

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.

Electrical Safety First recommends …

  • Making sure that your property has adequate RCD protection
  • Using a registered electrician for any work on your property
  • Carrying out regular safety checks on the electrical appliances provided as part of the rental agreement