Every year there are approximately 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries caused by faulty electrical installations and equipment, and almost 50% of all domestic fires in the UK are caused by electrical faults or failures.
Tenants also have an obligation to maintain electrical equipment that they own and use, and report any defects or concerns to their landlord. You must also never carry out your own electrical works in your rented property.
If you are concerned about the condition of the electrics in your rented property or HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) then you should ask your landlord or letting agent for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). Previously known as a Periodic Inspection and Test, the EICR will highlight:
- Any circuits and equipment that are overloaded
- Potential electric shock and fire hazard
- Defective electrical work
- Highlight any earthing or bonding issues
- Provide a schedule of circuits, which may not have been available or changed since the original installation was carried out
It is recommended that these tests be carried out every 5 years, or at every change in tenancy.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Since 1st October 2015 private landlords have been required to install at least one smoke alarm on each level of their property, and a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.
Landlords also have an obligation to ensure that the alarms are working before the start of every new tenancy.
Tenants also have an obligation to maintain and regularly test their smoke and CO alarms, and report any defects to their landlord immediately.