Electricity not maintained safely can cause serious personal injuries, fires and damage to property and tenants’ possessions.
Most electrical accidents are caused by either faulty systems and appliances (like broken plugs, damaged wires and deteriorated equipment) or by misuse of electrical appliances.
The following regulations cover the supply of electrical equipment with a working voltage of between 50 and 1000 volts;
• Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1989.
• Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
With the introduction of Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, we could see strengthening and some change from the previous Regulation. However, these Regulations highlight that all electrical equipment supplied must be safe.
If you are planning to rent out a property, the appliances supplied should be checked for safety. Make sure new equipment have instructions on the safe use. Equipment that is not brand new will be considered ‘second hand’ as far as the tenant is concerned.
It is considered the best practice to have electrical systems formally checked and tested every five years in a similar way to gas safety checks. This is also likely to be made mandatory in due course under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will a mandatory five-year electrical installation check on private rented housing in England will soon be introduced. The implementation date needs to be clarified.
Detailed regulations for enforcing compulsory five-year electrical safety checks in the private rented sector from July this year have been put forward and are now subject to parliamentary approval.
The draft regulations propose that, from 1 July 2020, all new private tenancies in England will need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person prior to the start of a new tenancy.
The requirement is likely to be that the Landlord will be required to obtain a Certificate from the qualified person confirming that the electrical safety standards are met.
Make sure that before you hire any inspectors to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. There is likely to be a financial penalty where this doesn’t comply with the duty imposed by the Regulations.