Why do landlords need an electrical safety certificate?

News at Waterfords | 20/02/2021



Why do landlords need an electrical safety certificate?

Landlords are exposing themselves to substantial risks, such as invalid insurance claims and large significant fines, if they do not follow their electrical safety obligations. These risks go beyond financial losses too… Landlords who do not comply with electrical safety regulations are failing to ensure the safety of their tenants, who could be living in dangerous properties.

If you are unsure about why you need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) or how to obtain one, then let Waterfords Lettings help. As your trusted letting agent in Camberley, Chobham, Fleet and Yateley, we have outlined the importance of electrical safety certificates and what your responsibilities are as a residential landlord in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire.
  

Electrical safety regulations for landlords

As a residential landlord, it is your legal duty to ensure the safety of all the electrical equipment supplied in your property and to ensure that it is maintained for the duration of a tenancy.

This responsibility includes all fixed electrical equipment supplied through the property’s electrical meter and extends to plugs, light fixtures and internal wiring.

Just like with any other features of a property, electrical installations are subject to wear and tear and therefore require maintenance and safety assurances.  
 

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

If you have a house in multiple occupation (HMO), defined as at least three tenants living there who are not from one household, but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen, then management regulations require landlords to take safety measures that ensure fixed electrical installations are tested in intervals of at least five years, by a qualified electrician.

A certificate should then be obtained, and the local authority may require it to be produced within seven days if requested.  
 

The introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks

The Government has agreed to bring electrical testing in-line with the gas safety check regime and the electrical regulations already operative in licensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Subject to final approval at the time of writing, this requirement will be extended to cover all new tenancies signed from 1 July 2020; it will be extended to existing tenancies from April 2021.

The new regulations will replace the existing requirements for HMOs to have the electrical installations tested.  
 

Part P building regulations

This regulation requires that most of the fixed electrical installations in a rental property meet building regulations. This can be done by either pre-notifying the local authority of any work that is to take place or by employing the services of a registered electrician under one of the government’s approved schemes.  
 

Electrical installations

Landlords should carry out regular visual safety checks of all the electrical installations in a property between tenancies to make sure they are safe. This will give landlords a chance to spot any broken or damaged items like light switches and sockets before they cause damage to the property.  


Electrical appliances

The Government currently does not legally require landlords to carry out portable appliance tests’ and it is currently up to the landlord’s discretion.

Landlords may nevertheless wish to carry out such checks at the point of letting the property to avoid any potential disputes or damage caused by faulty appliances.

Maintaining electrical safety is undoubtedly crucial when letting out a property, since electrical installation upgrades also benefit landlords through the material improvement of properties that can prevent fires, causing significant and expensive damage.

Make sure that any work required is carried out by a qualified electrician, guaranteeing the safety of electrical installations.

You can find further information in the Government’s ‘domestic landlord guidance’ document.  
 

We are here to answer any questions

Remember, the Waterfords Lettings and property management team are here to advise you as a residential landlord. Do get in touch if you have any questions about electrical compliance. We can also recommend several qualified electricians to help you with this matter.

If you have any questions, our friendly lettings and property management team are here to guide you. Get in touch on 01252 235348 or email lettings@waterfords.co.uk.

This article is intended as a guide only. For more information, see gov.uk.