Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that electrical installations are safe and are maintained in a safe condition for the duration of a tenancy. A landlord can be liable to pay damages to a tenant or resident for personal injury or death that was caused by an unsafe property.
Under The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) / The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 (as amended), fixed electrical installation in houses in multiple occupation must be inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified and competent person and a certificate to be obtained which may be requested for by the Council. The test is also required as a condition of the licence for a house in multiple occupation under the mandatory licensing scheme. In all other properties, it is recommended that a full electrical installation test should be carried out every 5 years or as recommended by a competent electrician to ensure it is safe and in good working order. Electrical wiring of more than 25 years old will most likely need to be inspected every year. You should obtain a certificate from your electrician and keep this as a record.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 places a duty on landlords and letting agents to ensure that any electrical equipment that is supplied as part of a letting is maintained in a safe condition.
x Washing machines
x Kettles, toasters and other small kitchen appliances
x Fridges and freezers
x Ovens x Microwaves
x Vacuum cleaners In order to help demonstrate that the landlord/letting agent has taken reasonable steps to ensure compliance with these regulations, all such appliances should have a safety check carried out annually or at a change of tenancy, by a competent electrician.
This is also known as PAT testing (portable appliance testing). A record of these safety checks should be made in a logbook and it is good practice for a label to be attached to the appliance. Should the check reveal that there is a safety hazard, then the appliance should be removed immediately or repaired on the spot. The test is required as a condition of the licence for a house in multiple occupation under the mandatory licensing scheme.
An inventory of appliances supplied with the let is advised. These Regulations are enforced by Trading Standards. Further information can be obtained from the leaflet – The Safety of Goods Supplied in Rented Accommodation, on request.
Carbon monoxide from unsafe appliances can kill. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 places a legal duty on landlords to carry out a safety check on gas installations each year, e.g. boilers, fires, cookers, water heaters by a engineer who is Gas Safe registered (from 1 April 2009, previously CORGI registered). A gas safety check and certificate can also be required by the Council under The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 / The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 and as part of the conditions of the licence for a house in multiple occupation under the mandatory licensing scheme.