Electrical Safety Tips That All Landlords Must Know

Published November 22, 2019 Tags:

Electrical Safety Tips That All Landlords Must Know

There are a number of electrical safety tips for landlords, all of which will help property owners comply with regulations. If you are a landlord or letting agent, you must meet obligations with regard to electrical features in rental properties. The law requires landlords to monitor the condition of electrical equipment and appliances, reducing the risk of harm to tenants.

Here at Peninsula Electrical, we offer a full range of services to ensure legal compliance. From property rewiring and smoke alarm installation through to PAT testing and burglar alarm systems, we work prolifically in the private rented sector, issuing guidance to landlords where necessary.


What Does The Law Say About Landlords and Electrical Safety?

By law, all landlords and letting agents must comply with the following regulations:

  • All electrical installations in your rental property must be in a safe condition at the start and throughout the duration of a tenancy agreement.
  • Any appliances provided to tenants must be safe and show the CE marking, which illustrates compliance with EU health, safety and environmental requirements.
  • If you own a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), an electrical installation condition report must be completed every five years by a registered electrician.
  • Every story of a rental property must have a smoke alarm fitted.


What Is An Electrical Installation Condition Report, and Do I Need One?

An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is a periodic inspection document illustrating the safety of all fixed wiring in a property. The condition report must be completed by a registered electrician, and its finding must be acted upon by a competent person.

Homeowners should commission a new EICR every ten years. In privately rented homes, however, a landlord must arrange the inspection and test every five years, or whenever there is a change in tenancy. This is a legal requirement to protect against the risk of faulty electrical wiring, reducing the likelihood of electric shocks and fires.

Failure to comply with changing regulation could result in heavy punishment for landlords. The new legislation is still being introduced, with the potential penalties to be decided when parliamentary time allows. However, it is likely that local authorities will hold the power to judge individual cases of non-compliance, highlighting the importance of obtaining the correct health and safety certificates.


How Does Brexit Affect CE Marking for Landlords?

While Brexit has become a minefield of claim and counterclaim, the immediate landscape for landlords in Britain remains relatively unchanged from an electrical safety perspective. The need for all appliances to show CE marking, denoting its compliance with European Union safety standards, will not change until the United Kingdom actually leaves the single market.  

The Brexit timetable continues to change, but in real terms, any alteration in electrical safety rules are unlikely to occur in the short-term. It may take years for negotiations to reach a natural conclusion, at which point Britain will make its own decision with regard to safety standards. In the immediate future, however, landlords should continue to comply with all CE marking requirements.


Do Landlords Need To Worry About PAT Testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) describes the routine examination of electrician equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Faulty electrical equipment can often be pinpointed visually, but some internal problems are only discoverable through testing. Thorough visual inspection and testing of all portable appliances should be carried out by a competent person, who will typically schedule the next check at a suitable frequency.

While landlords are not legally required to maintain PAT testing records for all appliances they provide in rented homes, adhering to such a strategy is recommended as best practice. To the extent that PAT testing ensures appliances are safe for use, it helps landlords meet their legal obligations. PAT testing can therefore be seen as an effective tool of compliance rather than a matter of compliance itself.


Electrical Safety Recommendations For Landlords

Similarly, there a number of measures that, while not demanded by law, should be considered as part of a comprehensive electrical safety plan for any property. Our tips include:

  • Adding extra lighting features
  • Ensuring a sufficient number of power sockets for all tenant usage
  • Arranging safe cooker cabling and installation
  • Guaranteeing reliable shower wiring and maintenance
  • Inspecting fuse boards for obvious signs of disrepair

Meanwhile, for commercial and industrial properties, we recommend the following features as part of an ongoing compliance regimen:

  • Three-phase wiring and systems
  • Fire alarms and emergency lighting throughout
  • CCTV systems and intruder alarms
  • Safe office cabling arrangements to guard against surges

Generally, if you are in doubt about any element of electrical safety, seek professional help. The experience of a qualified electrician is vital in maintaining the foundations of any property, and the consequences of ‘doing it yourself’ can be devastating. For peace of mind, do your research and partner with an electrician for long-term gain. The efficiencies and guaranteed legal compliance will far outweigh any costs incurred.


How Peninsula Electrical Ensures Electrical Safety Compliance

For landlords, hiring an electrician to carry out compliance audits and associated works can feel daunting. However, finding the right company with which to partner can save you time, money and avoidable hassle, freeing you up to focus on other areas of business development and customer service.

Here at Peninsula Electrical, we offer a range of services across the full spectrum of electrical safety. Operating in Wirral for nearly two decades, we have gained a fine reputation for aiding landlords in regulatory compliance. Our NAPIT approved electrical safety services include:

  • Property rewiring and upgrades
  • Electrical installation condition reports
  • Property audits and safety certificates
  • Fire alarm installation
  • Burglar alarm installation
  • PAT testing

We take a personable approach to business, forming long-term relationships that benefit our clients. For many landlords and organisations across Wirral, Liverpool, Merseyside and beyond, we are the ultimate one-stop shop for electrical safety services.

If you have any further questions about the legal obligations of a landlord with reference to electrical safety, contact our expert team today on 0151 625 3441 or email info@peninsulaelectrical.com. Your compliance is our concern.

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