From 1st April 2021, landlords have been required by law to arrange an electrical safety inspection for all privately rented properties. We’ve put together a simple guide that tells you how to meet the guidelines if you’re a private landlord, and how to go about obtaining an electrical safety certificate for your rented property.
Landlord electrical safety certificate
On 1st June 2020, the electrical regulations for private landlords in England were updated. From this point, landlords were required to have all electrical installations in their rented properties inspected by an approved electrician to make sure that they are safe. The resulting electrical safety certificate is now required by law for each private rental property in England.
Landlord electrical safety certificate legal requirement 2021
The regulations were made law in a staggered process; they were first introduced for new tenancies, with a requirement for electrical installations to be checked and tested before the start of any new tenancy.
The next milestone was 1st April 2021 when the regulations were updated to include existing tenancies. This means electrical inspections are now required for all private tenancies and that they must be carried out and certified by a qualified electrician.
Why are electrical safety checks important for landlords?
Electrical accidents in the home can be fatal. If you rented out a property with faulty wiring to tenants and it happened to injure or kill one of them, you as the landlord could be held liable. For your own peace of mind, as well as your tenants’, you need to be certain that you’re providing a safe living environment and that you’re also covered against any legal action. A thorough inspection of your property’s electrical circuits and a clean bill of health means you can rent out your property for the next few years knowing you’ve done everything in your power to ensure accidents are kept at bay.
How long does a Landlord’s electrical safety certificate last?
Electrical inspections must be carried out every five years as a minimum, to ensure the safety of private tenants.
What is the penalty fine if you don’t comply?
If a landlord is found to be non-compliant with the new law or if it’s been found that they’ve made no attempt to complete necessary remedial works identified by the inspection, the landlord could face a penalty fine of up to £30,000, which shows the seriousness of the electrical safety guidelines.
What will the electrical inspection be looking for?
The qualified electrician carrying out your inspection will be searching for any inadequate earthing or bonding. They’ll seek to identify any defective or faulty electrical work in the property and also check if installations are overloaded.
They’ll be checking things such as:
- Wiring circuits
- Lighting circuits
- Ring mains and or radial circuits to sockets
- Fuse boxes/consumer units
- Extractor fans
- Fixed electric appliances, e.g cookers electric showers
The electrician can make any immediate hazards safe before they leave your property. The inspecting electrician won’t check the safety of portable electrical appliances, such as white goods, kettles, toasters or TVs, unless you also ask them to do a portable appliance (PAT) test.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
No, PAT testing is not a legal requirement for landlords, but we highly recommend asking your electrician to add PAT testing, especially if you’ve provided items including the above as part of a fully furnished rental property. This is a great way to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep your tenants, your property and yourself safe.
What happens after the electrical safety inspection?
The electrician must give you a copy of their report, providing the results of the inspection. It’ll also let you know if any work is required and will give you a date for your property’s next set of checks.
What if my electrical safety report is unsatisfactory?
If the inspecting electrician suggests that repairs, improvements or further inspections are required, the work must be completed within 28 days – however, they can request a shorter period depending on the type of fault that’s reported.
If the local authority or your tenants request a copy of the report at any time, you as the landlord must provide this to them within 28 days.
Can tenants demand a copy of the Landlord’s electrical safety certificate?
Yes. The regulations absolutely require a copy of the electrical safety certificate to be supplied to all new and existing tenants as proof that a qualified electrical inspector has found the property’s electrical circuits to be safe and in good working order.
How can landlords prepare to meet the new electrical safety regulations?
It’s important to make sure that your property’s electrical safety inspection is carried out by a contractor who is a member of an electrician’s Competent Persons Scheme (CPS) or who has signed a checklist confirming they’re skilled enough to carry out the required checks.