Are Landlords Responsible For The Electrical Safety Of Their Tenants


Before June of 2020 and new amendments to private sector rental regulations, landlords weren’t legally responsible for the electrical safety of their property. After the implementation of this new rule, landlords are now required to hire a certified electrician.
The qualified electrician must then inspect the conditions of electrical installations. If the installations are safe to use and require no repairs or replacement, he will provide the Landlord with an electrical safety certificate. All rental properties in England must undergo these inspections, as mandated by the housing authority.

What is an EICR, and who can administer it

With the new regulations, all private property owners who rent their properties across the UK must perform mandatory electrical safety checks every five years and receive landlord electrical safety certificates. This electrical installation condition report (EICR) can be issued by a qualified electrician and is valid until the next inspection is due. 

Electrical installations include every stationary electrical equipment that is enduringly connected to the electrical grid of the property. This includes sockets and switchboards and fuses etc.

This report is meant to provide a safety net for the tenants when moving into a new house. The Landlord is obligated to present a copy of the EICR certificate to any potential tenants. So the tenants know what they’re walking to is safe or not. 

What happens if I don’t have the Landlord’s electrical safety certificates?

If you’re negligent towards the safety of your property and, as a consequence, your tenants, you could face hefty fines for each item that isn’t up to code.

If any serious incidents happen to the tenants due to electrical safety issues, you may be subject to prosecution and even charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Testing the safety of portable appliances


Electrical safety isn’t just an issue that concerns stationary electric fixtures, and ignoring the conditions of your portable electrical appliances can both reduce their lifetime and lead to electrical accidents. This term is used to describe stationary appliances like fridges and electric ovens.

Portable Appliance Testing is a secondary landlord electrical safety certificate, which can be issued by a qualified electrician. Validating the safety of your electrical appliances will help you avoid expensive lawsuits from your tenants, which could set you back a lot in the event of a serious electrical malfunction.

Are landlords obligated to order PAT?

While only the EICR test is mandatory under UK housing authority regulations, PAT certificates are not a legal obligation but are highly recommended for properties rented out with household appliances. It’s a show of responsibility, in addition to a personal precaution that can save your neck down the road.

If you’re hearing about Landlord electrical safety certificates for the first time, don’t be intimidated. The tests are quick to perform and don’t cost you much. We recommend obtaining EICR and PAT certificates, as some insurance policies will require the certificates to reimburse you in the event of an electrical accident on your property.

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