- Electrical Safety in Rental Property - 21.07.2014
Apart from the Landlord's Common Law duty of care, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 requires that the electrical equipment is safe at the start of every tenancy and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
In the case of commercial property and houses in multiple occupation there is a statutory duty under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 to carry out annual Fire Safety Risk Assessments, which include electrical safety risks.
If you let property you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe - failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may result in:
- A fine of £5,000 per item not complying
- Six month's imprisonment
- Possible manslaughter charges in the even of deaths
- The Tenant may also sue you for civil damage
- Your property insurance may be invalidated
It is important to ensure that all electrical appliances and fittings within the property are safe and in good working order.
Unlike gas regulations, there is no law that says you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. But, should any electrical fittings or appliances within your rental property cause harm to a tenant you could be held liable.
You are advised to make visual inspections yourself as landlord or agent in residential properties (record on a safety checklist) and have periodic checks carried out by a qualified electrician.
- Ideally, ensure that the electrical system complies with the latest wiring regulations.
- Make sure a circuit breaker (RCD) is fitted to power circuits.
- Ensure that operating instructions and safety warning notices are supplied with the appliances.
- Ensure that plugs and sockets conform to BS1363 or BS1363/A for heavy duty uses.
- Make sure that tenants know the location of and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch.
There is no statutory obligation on landlords or agents to have professional checks carried out on the electrical system or appliances. However, under Common Law and various statutory regulations: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, The Housing Act 2004, The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, there is an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe.
In January 2005 new legislation under Part P of the Building Regulations make it a requirement that for certain types of electrical work in dwellings, plus garages, sheds, greenhouses and outbuilding comply with the standards. This means a competent electrician must carry out the work. For DIY electrical work you must belong to one of the Government's approved Competent Person Self-Certification schemes or submit a building notice to the local authority before doing the work.
- Inspections on tenant change-overs, recording electrical equipment, its condition and fuses fitted - see PAT Testing.
- Periodic inspections of electrical equipment by a qualified electrician.
- 5 yearly inspections by a qualified electrician to ensure safety and that the electrical system complies with current electrical regulations.
- Keep all records of these inspections.
In the event of a tenant complaint or an incident the defence of "due diligence" may be accepted where it can be shown that the landlord or agent took all reasonable steps to avoid committing an offence - you will need documentary evidence of this.
A private owner letting a single dwelling (not in the course of business) may have a defence, whereas an agent acting on his behalf will not. However, an agent merely introducing a tenant and not becoming involved in the inventory or management of the tenancy my well be exempt from liability.
Why leave yourself open to the unknown, make sure you are completly covered by letting Passion For Property carry out the annual gas and electrical PAT Testing done for £120 plus VAT.
- Our new website - 19.01.2011
After nearly 7 years the Passion for Property website has come in for an overhaul and the new site will be launched to coincide with the move to Castle Street.
The new website offers to visitors unique features such as PfP account which will allow you to save your favourite properties, save your searches, arrange a viewing and save comments for future reference. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter displaying new properties or subscribe to a property alert which will notify you of any properties that become available to let.
This innovative site will enable landlords to use unique settings to log into their own property accounts. The site is even more user friendly and as always will be linked to all the major property portals - rightmove, zoopla, findaproperty, propertyfinder etc...