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Electric Checks

If you let property in England and Wales you must ensure that electrical equipment and the electrical system are safe.

There is currently no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment as there is with gas, but C & I Lettings advise you to do so as you can still be liable if things go wrong.

Appliances you supply should either be new or checked by a qualified electrician before the property is let. All paperwork regarding the item (i.e. receipts, warranties, certificates of inspection) should be kept for a minimum period of six years. 

Electrical safety in rental property

Apart from the Landlord's Common Law duty of care, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (and several other statutory regulations see below) requires that the electrical equipment is safe at the start of every tenancy and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.

Electrical hazards are also covered by the Housing Health and safety Rating System under the Housing Act 2004.

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 event of deaths
  • The tenant may also sue you for civil damages
  • Your property insurance may be invalidated

You are advised to make visual inspections 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.
  • Keep supplied appliances to a minimum.
  • Make sure appliances supplied are complete and in working order - keep purchase receipts.
  • Pay particular attention to second hand equipment - always have these items checked.
  • Ensure that operating instructions and safety warning notices are supplied with the appliances.
  • Ensure that flexes are in good order and properly attached to appliances and plugs.
  • Ensure that earth tags are in place.
  • Ensure that plugs are of an approved type with sleeved live and neutral pins.
  • Ensure that plugs and sockets conform to BS1363 or BS1363/A for heavy duty uses.
  • Ensure that all fuses are of the correct type and rating.
  • Make sure that tenants know the location of and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch.
  • Make a note of all fuse ratings on the inventory.

If you are in any doubt about the wiring or the safety of any appliances consult a qualified electrician.

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.

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