Do you know what your legal obligations are as a landlord when it comes to the electrical safety of your properties?
Do you know what the penalties are if you don’t meet them?
Would your insurance company pay out following a fire at your rental property?
According to the Electrical Safety Council, faulty electrics and electrical appliances cause 20,000 fires in the UK each year. If there was a fire in your rental property, do you know how you could be affected?
What are your legal obligations?
If you let out a HMO (either licensed or unlicensed) or commercial property, there is a statutory duty to carry out a Periodic Inspection (sometimes called an Electrical Safety Inspection or an Electrical Inspection and Condition Report – EICR) every 5 years.
The local council can demand to see a copy of your certificate within 7 days (under The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006).
If your property is on a single let, there is no statutory obligation to carry out a periodic inspection. However, in the event of damage, an injury or death due to an electrical fault at your property, the burden would be on you to prove that you had taken reasonable steps to ensure that electrics were maintained in a safe condition.
What are the penalties?
If you let property, you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe – failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may result in:
- Fine of up to £20,000
- Six months imprisonment
- Possible manslaughter charges in the event of deaths
- The Tenant may also sue you for civil damages
- Your property insurance may be invalidated
These regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive. (Sources The Landlord Zone; Electrical Safety Council)
Do you value peace of mind?
The Residential Landlords Association and the Electrical Safety Council recommend that ALL residential rental properties have electrical safety inspections carried out at least every five years.
The Electrical Safety Council are also calling for electrical inspections of rental properties to be made statutory to bring the standard required of electrical safety in line with that of gas safety and have published a guide and checklist to help you to ensure your property is safe.
Consider the possibility of facing a massive fine, a considerable prison sentence, or even the inconvenience and expense of having to make repairs if your insurance company won’t pay out.
Now consider that the cost of getting a periodic inspection carried out, against the cost of a periodic inspection for an average 3-bedroom property is about £3 per month over the 5 year period that the inspection covers.
Why wouldn’t you get one done? Call a reputable electrician and book one today.