Electrical Obligations for New Landlords – Are You Wired Up?
More and more property owners are turning to leasing properties in order to make extra money in this time of recession and economic hardship. As the number of landlords in the UK soars, and with great value online or self-service letting agents available to assist in property marketing and management, a leading industry body has reissued some essential advice for those new to renting private properties to ensure their tenants remain safe and comfortable.
The Electrical Safety Council has suggested that those new to leasing a property are often unaware of their responsibilities where electricity is concerned. New landlords tend to devote much of their time to learning about deposit schemes and drawing up inventory checklists, often neglecting one of the most important aspects of their property; the electrical fittings and power points. All landlords are advised to familiarise themselves with the following checklist before advertising a property online:
- It is vital for new landlords to understand their obligations where electricity is concerned. Fines and imprisonment are the punishments for negligence in these circumstances, and in an instance where a tenant is injured or has their own possessions damaged as a result of electrical faults, costly compensation claims may also be levied against the landlord.
- The landlord must take sole responsibility for the electrical installation within one of their properties. This applies at the start of the tenancy, and must be maintained for the duration of the tenant’s stay to ensure a safe property.
- Basic checks should be carried out before the tenant moves in, with notes taken regarding electrical hazards, broken light switches or power sockets, signs of burns or scorching around the sockets, or damaged electrical cables.
- Landlords must also take responsibility for any appliances that they provide within the home, from televisions to microwaves. There should be no cuts in wire coverings, and there should be no visible coloured wires anywhere on the plug or the cable itself. The plugs should be checked for cracked or damaged casing, as well as bent pins, and replaced where necessary. Any loose screws should be replaced and tightened, and the rest of the appliance should be thoroughly checked for any signs of electrical damage. Appliances brought into their property by the tenant are their own responsibility, but the power sockets they will be connected to are the duty of the landlord.
- It is recommended that a periodic inspection on all electrical points is carried out every five years, or at every change of tenancy; whichever occurs first. A registered electrician can carry out this test for a small fee and will issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report, which vouches for any damage or deterioration that could lead to dangerous electrical faults or malfunction. It is then up to the landlord to see that these faults are rectified as soon as possible. Registered electricians can carry out this work, and their status as ‘registered’ ensures that they conform to certain UK national standards. A property management service can provide lists of registered electricians within the area and help with any emergency situations that may occur if the landlord is unavailable.
If you’re a landlord and want to find out more about I Am The Agent and its range of self-service options for renting and managing a property, please visit http://www.iamtheagent.com
Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email Rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk or Tel: 01623 428996.
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