Electrical Safety, Rental Property and The Law
Whilst the legislation for electrical safety is less explicit than that of gas safety and there is no GAS SAFE equivalent for inspection standards, it is nevertheless a statutory duty for landlords to ensure that all electrical wiring and equipment present in a rental property is safe for use and maintained adequately.
Mains Installation and Fixed Wiring
The two main Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords with respect to safety, including electrics are:
- The Consumer Protection Act 1987
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (section 11)
The only way a landlord can check that the electrical installation (the fixed wiring) in the property is safe is by having a Periodic Inspection and Report (PIR) carried out. This report identifies any deficiencies against the safety standard for electrical installations. Any areas that require attention will be detailed in the report, together with a recommendation of remedial works required, if any, in order of priority. It is considered best practice to have a PIR carried out when a property is first prepared for letting and every five years thereafter.
There are also several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including:
- The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
- The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
- The General Product (Safety) Regulations 1994
- The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
Hamiltons recommend that mains installation and fixed wiring and all portable appliances (any item with an accessible plug) should be tested prior to the commencement of the initial tenancy and a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) to be completed annually thereafter.
Our property management team ensure that all current legislation is complied with and fully advise landlords of the requirements. We have negotiated favourable rates for safety testing from reputable local companies and are happy to undertake the organisation of the inspections on behalf of our landlords.
The PIR and PAT is held on our records and a copy provided to the tenant prior to occupation.