Landlords – what do you need to know about changes to electrical safety laws?Make Text Bigger
Landlords have the responsibility of keeping their tenants safe and electrical safety is a big part of this. In order to avoid fines and protect your tenants, be aware of changes to the latest legislation.
Failure to keep electrical equipment such as light switches, microwaves and fuse boxes safe and in good condition can lead to fines, bans and even imprisonment.
Landlords in Scotland will soon be required to provide regular electrical installation condition report to tenants and it is expected that the new change will be subsequently implemented in England as well.
A spokesperson for Discount Landlord said: “Landlords have a responsibility to take care of their tenants and must ensure that their properties are in safe condition. Landlord insurance can assist against unforeseen damages, but it is important that the property is maintained.”
Here are the facts and changes that landlords need to know:
- Any electrical equipment that landlords provide must have a safety kite mark such as the CE logo which shows that a product meets EU standards.
- Landlords must also only use a registered electrician. There can be additional rules depending on where your BTL is located in the UK.
- Landlords in England and Wales are required to provide electrical installation certificates to show new equipment is safe but there is not a legal requirement to have it regularly inspected.
- Landlords must respond to any requests for repairs under the Landlord and Tenant Act and a claim could also be brought under the Consumer Protection Act if a property is found to be unsafe.
- A tenant who reports concerns about electrical equipment to the local council would lead to an enforcement officer visiting the property and making an order for changes. Failure to make the changes could result in fines or bans and will make it harder to evict a tenant.
- Landlords in Scotland Landlords must now have a compulsory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) conducted every five years as a result of changes to The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
- Any tenant moving in from 1st December 2015 must be provided with Electrical Installation Certificates for any new fixtures or fittings that are installed. These can be obtained from a fully registered electrician. They must also provide a Portable Appliance Test for movable objects such as microwaves.
- Existing tenants must receive a copy of the EICR by 1st December 2016.
The charity Electrical Safety First has put together a checklist or landlords to monitor the equipment they provide. It can be accessed here: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/mediafile/100114761/Landlords-Interim-Checklist-2014.pdf
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