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Electrical Safety Checks for Landlords

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Unlike the strict and specific regulations that apply to gas appliances in rented accommodation, the obligations of a Landlord are somewhat less specific with regard to electrical installations. However, they still remain and the prudent and responsible landlord will take his obligations and responsibilities seriously.

Whilst there are no overarching safety regulations in the same way as there is for gas safety, there are a variety of regulations and general landlord’s duties and responsibilities to note.

There are various codes and relevant British Standards that apply, as well as part P of the Building Regulations where applicable.

Building Regulations may not apply directly but these may not be directly but such regulations may be accepted standards by which compliance with legal obligations is judged. For example, a particular item such as earthing may not comply with the current IET requirements but it will not necessarily be “unsafe” or not in working order as a result.

In more general terms, Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 imposes an obligation on Landlords of short term residential lettings to keep electrical installations in repair and proper working order. A landlord may also be liable for the injury of a tenant or resident caused by defective wiring under the Defective Premises Act 1972.

Under codes derived from various European Directives, electrical items must now be CE kite marked and it would serve a Landlord well if he made sure any such electrical items applied and were periodically checked. Indeed, under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 there is a requirement for portable electrical appliances to be PAT tested. This would apply to employee accommodation for example.

All in all, it is worth considering what a reasonable landlord’s duty of care might be as well as specific regulations that need to be adhered to.

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