Every electrical appliance supplied by the Landlord must be safe to use; the electrical installation in the house must be completely safe.
Unlike the Gas Safety Regulations, there is no mandatory requirement for the installation to undergo any safety testing unless the property is an HMO, but there is a legal requirement for any property to be inspected by a competent person prior to being offered for rent for the first time – keep a record of this Inspection Report.
In the event that a person is hurt, or worse, a Landlord may face expensive litigation if he cannot show that he was duly diligent with the electric system and therefore having a full Electric Inspection Certificate, which lasts for up to 5 years, throughout the Tenancy would protect the Landlord from this situation.
There is a legal requirement for a visual inspection to be carried out at the turn of every tenancy or annually, whichever happens first. This can be done by the Landlord but any remedial work must be carried out by a competent person.
Although there is no requirement for equipment to be checked, it’s recommended for every Landlord to check all electrical appliances before the start of a tenancy and regularly thereafter. If the property is an HMO, all appliances that are not hard wired in must have a Portable Appliance Test annually or at the turn of each Tenancy, whichever happens first.
The following guidelines apply to all electrical appliances supplied for the tenancy:
- live parts should not be accessible
- leads should not be worn or frayed and be complete with no joins
- trailing leads and the use of multiple plug adaptors should be avoided
- correct plugs (marked ‘B SECTION 136’) should be fitted and correctly fused
- plug sockets should be firmly fastened to the wall or skirting
- any moving parts should be guarded
- electric blankets should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- microwave doors should be clean, free from corrosion and effective
- washing machines, cookers, etc, should be serviced and in good working order
- electrical heaters and central heating appliances should be serviced annually
- fireguards should meet BS3248
- any fire extinguishers should be marked ‘BS6575 1985’.
Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
This regulation requires that any plug, socket or adapter supplied for intended domestic use complies with the appropriate current standard, and specifically that:
The live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets and all plugs are pre-wired.