Wed 26 Jun 2019
While most landlords know they are required to provide safe rental accommodation for tenants, current regulations reinforce the importance of these tests and checks. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, in force as of March 2019, has reinforced the importance of offering a safe rental property. However, landlords should always have had electrical safety in mind as there are many electrical safety obligations for landlords to consider.
Worryingly, a study by Electrical Safety First suggests many landlords are placing themselves at financial risk. This risk arises to landlords not carrying out electrical safety obligations. Landlords face fines and invalidated insurance by not undertaking these tests. Therefore, there could be a catastrophic impact on landlords who don’t comply with health and safety regulations at their rental property.
As a landlord, you are required to:
· Ensure the electrical installation is safe when tenants move into the property
· Maintain the safe condition of electrical wiring throughout the tenancy
· All appliances provided by a landlord is deemed reliable and carries the CE marking, indicating the manufacturers’ belief the product complies with European law
· If the property is a house in multiple occupation, an HMO, periodic inspection is due every five years
· If the rental property isn’t an HMO, there is no legal obligation to undertake this test. However, many landlords consider it good practice, and it is a step we recommend landlords take.
Any landlord looking to go beyond these regulations should follow the recommendations of Electrical Safety First. The organisation recommends a visual inspection of the rental property is carried out between properties. While landlords can undertake this task themselves, it is often best to leave this work to a qualified professional. Qualified electricians know what issues to look out for, and they can respond to problems if anything arises.
For any electrical work at the property, leave it to a registered professional. Landlords should obtain certification of the work carried out, and this can be displayed at the property or shown to the property.
Landlords can reach tenants by being proactive
Having these documents can be beneficial to landlords, not only in avoiding fines but in promoting the property as a safe and viable option. In a competitive marketplace, it is vital landlords promote their rental property actively, and many prospective tenants appreciate safety recommendations.
As part of the rental agreement, landlords should agree to regular safety checks. This act provides confidence to tenants, but it also provides landlords with insight into how the tenant is caring for the property. If the tests indicate tenants haven’t been using appliances correctly or using devices safely, the landlord may have cause to remove the tenant.
Landlords should provide tenants with instructions on how to use electrical devices. If possible, the landlord should show the tenant how to use these devices safely, hopefully helping to create a safe environment in the rental property.
If you are a landlord looking for assistance in complying with electrical safety regulations, please get in touch with ADM Residential.
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