Electrical Safety guidance for Landlords
The Electrical Safety Council has joined forces with the NLA to help raise awareness about electrical safety in the private rented sector (PRS).
NLA Director of Operations Richard Price has been busy conducting radio interviews with the ESC this week to provide advice and guidance for landlords on this important area.
Each week, at least one person is killed and 1,000 people are seriously injured in electrical accidents in UK homes.
The ESC found that there are a number of new or ‘accidental’ landlords entering the marketplace who may not be aware of their obligations surrounding electrical safety.
With 16% of the UK population living in the PRS, they account for 20% of people receiving an electric shock – so the NLA is keen to remind landlords of their obligations.
Research from the ESC found that many landlords are confused over their responsibilities. Misunderstandings between landlords and tenants over responsibilities for safety are exposing some tenants to electrical dangers.
The NLA is reminding landlords that by law, they must ensure all electrical wiring and installations in their properties are safe, and the best way to be sure of that is to have the installation inspected periodically (typically every 5 years) by a competent electrician.
Landlords should also ensure there is adequate Residual Current Device (RCD) protection in their properties. They significantly reduce the risk of electrical shock. Ideally these should be installed in the consumer unit but plug in RCDs can be used.
Any landlord found to be negligent over electrical safety could face fines of up to £5,000 on each count or imprisonment.
Tenants should be shown how to isolate the supply in the event of a problem and advised to flag any electrical problems immediately so they can be fixed. A term in the tenancy agreement not to make any alterations or additions to the supply is recommended, better they discuss any requirements with the landlord.
The ESC has produced a simple guide for landlords outlining how to ensure the electrical safety of a property, available free at www.esc.org.uk/landlords. They have also produced a useful App that guides the user around the home step-by-step.
Visit the NLA Online Library for more information on electrical safety, or sign up for the NLA Accreditation Scheme which will give you a comprehensive overview of your responsibilities as a landlord.
If in doubt, call the NLA Advice Line who will be able to guide you further.