17 May

DM&Co Property Column - Electrical Safety as a Landlord

DM&Co Property Column - Electrical Safety as a Landlord

The role of Landlords has begun to be taken more seriously, not just being obliged to make use of a deposit scheme, but also ensuring that the property is in a safe condition for tenants to live in. Part of this involves electrical safety.

At a minimum, Landlords must:

-Ensure that all electrical installations are safe both when tenants move in, and for the length of their tenancy (installations include sockets and light fittings)
-Any electrical appliances supplied with the property must have a CE marking and be safe (includes cookers, kettles etc)
-If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) a registered electrician should carry out periodic inspections and tests every five years

Periodic inspections to check the condition of electrical installations must be carried out by electrically competent persons, i.e. registered electricians. You can expect the cost to be around £150, and upon completion you should receive an Electrical Condition Report.

Electrical appliances should be PAT tested, once again by an electrically competent person, though there's no specific guidance on how often this should be done. Costs can be around £1-2 per appliance.

It's not required by law in existing homes, but new homes since 2008 have been required to have an RCD installed. These can not only make the home safer for those residing in it, but also provides some protection from electrical fires. The installation should be in the ballpark of around £300, so whilst this isn't necessarily cheap, it's certainly a worthwhile investment.

Keeping your home electrically safe is the right thing to do, particularly if you have tenants, but is also a legal obligation. Unsafe properties may be liable to claims from tenants under the Consumer Protection Act, and failure to comply may result in landlords being fined or even banned from letting altogether.

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