Landlords are not switched on to buy-to-let electrical safety

AFS Team·30 January 2013·3 min read
Landlords are not switched on to buy-to-let electrical safety
Landlords are putting lives at risk because they are not switched on to how to ensure electrical safety in their rental homes, claims the Electrical Safety Council.

The main problem is inexperienced landlords exposing tenants to life-threatening risks because they are confused about who is responsible for safety in their homes.

“The consequences for not understanding obligations can be serious,” the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) said.

“If a landlord is found to be negligent over electrical safety it can lead to fines or even imprisonment.”

Safety responsibilities

Landlords have a number of duties and responsibilities towards their tenants, one of which is ensuring electrical safety in their properties.

They must ensure that the electrical installation is safe right from the start of the tenancy and throughout the entire agreement.

Landlords should check for broken or scorched plugs, lights and switches. Damaged appliance cables that can short bare wires are also a risk.

Regular inspections and tests must also be carried out in any house in multiple occupation (HMO), like bedsits or shared houses.

HMOs need extra checks

HMOs must have an electrical safety check at least every five years. A registered electrician must carry out the inspection and provide a safety certificate.

Letting properties must have RCD protection at the fuse box – this guards against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

During the tenancy, any work on electrical installations or appliances should be carried out by a registered electrician.

Appliance testing on washing machines, televisions, irons and toasters provided as part of the rental agreement are also important throughout a tenancy.