It has been found that landlords including 2nd home owners are exposing themselves to significant financial risks, from fines and invalidated insurance, through not acting on their electrical safety obligations. We have clarified your obligations for electrical safety in rental properties and provide a range of resources to help you keep your guests safe.
Your responsibilities as a landlord
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 (now known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report) 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.
- Making sure that your property has adequate RCD protection
- Using a registered electrician for any work on your property (all NICEIC registered electricians work is assessed on an annual basis on site by NICEIC engineers)
- Carrying out regular safety checks on the electrical appliances provided as part of the rental/letting agreement.
Electrical Product Recalls
The average success rate of an electrical product recall in the UK is just 10-20%. This means that there are potentially millions of recalled electrical items still in UK homes some of them undoubtedly will end up in holiday homes and residential lets. As most of these products have been recalled because they offer a risk of electric shock or electrical fire, they present a serious risk.
The electrical goods most often reported as faulty or dangerous are:
- Electrical chargers
- Adaptors, including those used for travel
- Extension and spare product leads
- Hairdryers, tongs and straighteners
- Small kitchen appliances like kettles, toasters and irons
Whilst the above is not an exhaustive list there have also been product recalls in recent years from the electrical installation side of things, most recently 2 major electrical manufacturers had to recall and exchange/replace parts of the fixed installations consumer units.
Whilst registered contractors are aware of these recalls and have put in place systems to ensure any affected properties that they themselves may have installed these products in are checked, there are still potentially thousands of properties that have no knowledge of the product recalls. People wanting further information about product recalls can go to the Electrical Safety First website where they can view product recall information.
Further Electrical information can be found on the Electrical Safety First website or you can contact a local Registered Electrician.