The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
- Safe when a tenancy begins
- Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 makes it an implied term of every tenancy that the landlord will ‘keep in repair the structure and exterior’ of the property and ‘keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity, and for sanitation, space heating and heating water’.
It is important to ensure that all electrical appliances and fittings within your property are safe and in good working order. There is no law that says you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. But, should any electrical fittings or appliances within your rental property cause harm to a tenant you could be held liable.
You are advised to make visual inspections yourself as landlord or agent in residential properties (record on a safety checklist) and have periodic checks carried out by a qualified electrician.
- Ideally, ensure that the electrical system complies with the latest wiring regulations.
- Make sure a circuit breaker (RCD) is fitted to power circuits.
- Keep supplied appliances to a minimum.
- Make sure appliances supplied are complete and in working order – keep purchase receipts.
- Pay particular attention to second hand equipment – always have these items checked.
- Ensure that operating instructions and safety warning notices are supplied with the appliances.
- Ensure that flexes are in good order and properly attached to appliances and plugs.
- Ensure that earth tags are in place.
- Ensure that plugs are of an approved type with sleeved live and neutral pins.
- Ensure that plugs and sockets conform to BS1363 or BS1363/A for heavy duty uses.
- Ensure that all fuses are of the correct type and rating.
- Make sure that tenants know the location of and have access to the main consumer unit, fuses and isolator switch.
- Make a note of all fuse ratings on the inventory.