Landlords must switch on to electric safety

You don’t have to be a bright spark to know electrical safety is an important issue in a rented property.

Despite the risks, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has warned that misunderstandings between landlords and tenants over who is responsible for looking after the property are putting lives at risk.

More ‘reluctant landlords’ who let their old home because they cannot sell are adding to the problem, says the ESC.

Now, the ESC wants to switch on landlords and tenants about their responsibilities with a safety campaign.

Landlords must make sure tenants are safe

The electrical installation in the property, that means all the wiring, circuits, fuses and so on, must in full working order from the start of a tenancy and must stay that way.

Look for broken sockets or switches and burned or damaged cables before the tenant moves in.

Regular inspections must take place

Landlords who own a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must have a qualified electrician carry out a safety check at least every five years.

Buy to lets do not need a safety certificate, but the ESC advises regular checks.

Properties must have adequate RCD protection

An RCD is a life-saving system that reduces the risk of electrical fires and protects against electric shock. All electrical circuits in homes should be RCD protected with a trip at the fusebox.

Work must be carried out by a registered electrician

Any electrical work must be carried out by a registered electrician – check the NICEIC official trade body web site to find one in your area.

Who keeps the safety certificate?

The tenant should see a copy of the valid safety certificate before signing any tenancy agreement. Letting agents will generally ask for a copy before the tenant moves in to the property.



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