Electrical safety within the private rented sector (PRS)
5th August 2019
5th August 2019
A landlord is required by law to ensure:
• that the electrical installation in the property is safe when the tenancy begins
• that the electrical installation is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy, and
• that any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).
In order to meet these requirements, a landlord will need to carry out regular basic safety checks to ensure the electrical installation and appliances remain in good working order.
A good landlord should have an electrical inspection carried out by an electrician before a new tenant moves in. If a landlord has done this, a copy of the inspection report (known as a periodic inspection report) should be made available to a tenant upon request.
If appliances are supplied, the appliances should be checked and each electrical appliance supplied by the landlord in the property should have a PAT (Portable Appliance Test) sticker on the plug showing the date it was tested.
It is important to ensure that the electrical installation and all electrical appliances and fittings within a property are safe and in good working order. Unlike gas regulations, there is no law that says that a landlord must provide an annual landlord electrical safety certificate. But, should any electrical installations, fittings or appliances supplied by the landlord within the rental property cause harm to a tenant, the landlord could be held liable. By providing a landlord’s electrical safety certificate and providing evidence to show that the electrical installation and/or appliances and fittings are safe to use in a property, this could form part of a landlord’s due diligence defence should there be a dispute and this may reduce a landlord’s liability.
There are three main Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords with respect to the safety of electrical equipment or the electrical installation of a property.
1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/43
2. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37
3. The Housing Act 2004 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/34/contents
Electrical hazards are also covered by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) under the Housing Act 2004.
Further information on electrical safety is available on the Electrical Safety Council’s website at: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/