Landlords - electrical safety

There is currently no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment. However, you should still do so, because if things go wrong, you can be liable as a landlord.

For commercial property and houses in multiple occupation, there is a statutory duty for the property manager to carry out annual Fire Safety Risk Assessments, which include electrical safety.

Following these guidelines is a good idea:

  • Make sure tenants have copies of operating and safety instructions for ALL equipment
  • Make sure tenants can find, and access, the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch
  • Make sure a circuit breaker (RCD) is fitted to power circuits and that the electrical system complies with wiring regulations
  • Carry out annual visual inspections and inspections on tenant change-overs, recording electrical equipment, its condition and fuses fitted
  • Carry out PAT testing of any portable electrical equipment
  • Carry out periodic inspections of electrical equipment using a qualified electrician
  • Use a qualified electrician to carry out five yearly inspections to ensure safety and check that the electrical system complies with current electrical regulations
  • Keep all records of these inspections

The Landlords' Guide to Electrical Safety (The Electrical Safety Council) highlights the legislation relevant to landlords in the private rented sector and includes advice on what landlords must do to ensure their rental properties are complying with the law.