Landlords have a legal requirement to ensure that their rental property, and any electrical equipment provided therein, is safe prior to a tenancy beginning and throughout the tenancy duration. Electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1st July 2020 and checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1st April 2021.
Under The Landlords And Tenant Act of 1985, Section 8, it states that “the property should be fit for people to live in at the beginning of the tenancy” and that “the property should be kept in a fit state for people to live in during the tenancy”.
A landlord is also responsible for the communal areas of a house, block of flats, or an estate that residents use in common with other tenants, eg entrance ways/foyers, corridors, lifts and stairwells, kitchens and bathrooms, landings, etc.
Except for some types of minor work, if you intend to carry out electrical installation work in domestic premises, you must either:
- notify a building control body (usually your local authority building control department) before the work starts, or
- have it carried out by an electrician who is registered with one of the Government- authorised Part P competent person scheme operators, or
- in England, have the work inspected and tested by a registered third party certifier.
All electrical installation work undertaken in a home or dwelling must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, which requires ‘reasonable provision … in the design and installation of electrical installations … to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury’.
Any electrical installation deteriorates over time with use and age. Landlords must ensure that their tenant(s) – or anyone entering or using the property – are not endangered, by ensuring that the electrical installation remains in a safe and serviceable condition.
A periodic inspection checks the condition of an existing electrical installation against BS 76712 (the UK Standard for the safety of electrical installations) to check that it is safe. A periodic inspection should highlight if electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded, identify potential electric shock risks and fire hazards, find any defective electrical work and highlight any lack of earthing/bonding.
Generally, for rented accommodation, the period between initial inspection (from the date the installation was first put into service) and the first periodic inspection should not exceed more than 5 years. Subsequent inspections of the installations should be at intervals of no more than 5 years from the date of the first inspection.
HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupations) are required to be inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a suitably qualified person who should provide a certificate providing results of the inspection. If the local housing authority requests in writing for the certificate (EICR), landlords must supply it within seven days of receiving the request.
After periodic inspection, tenants should always be given a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) containing details of the inspection and testing undertaken, highlighting any outcomes and recommendations for remedial action (if any is required), together with a declaration of whether or not the installation is safe for continued use. Paperwork and certificates for all testing undertaken should be retained, as these can provide a basis for further inspection and testing, potentially saving on future, costly exploratory work.
It is strongly recommended that only registered electricians are hired to undertake any electrical installation work.
Safety Checked Ltd are experienced at carrying out servicing and checks of fire and electrical systems for social housing, student lettings and private landlords throughout County Durham and the North East. Our Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) are a cost-effective way to ensure that you are meeting your legal and mandatory obligations for electrical safety.
As well as carrying out your electrical inspection and testing, Safety Checked can provide Fire Alarm Servicing and Maintenance, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), emergency lighting checks, and electrical repairs and installation