Landlord Electrical Safety Checks - do you know your legal duties regarding electrical requirements?? In the private sector it can be bewildering when it comes to knowing what your legal obligations are when carrying out electrical safety checks on electrical installations and appliances within rented properties.
There are two main legal obligations that a landlord should be aware of.
- Firstly, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 sets out the ?repairing standard? which a landlord must ensure their property meets at the start of, and at all times during, the tenancy.? Part of the repairing standard says that ?the installations in the house for the supply ?electricity?are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order.?
- This extends the definition set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 regarding the ?tolerable standard,? which requires that ?the electrical installation within a rented property is to be?adequate and safe.?
In addition, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 state that all appliances should be safe to use.? The Regulations only state that any electrical appliances supplied as part of a tenancy must be safe when first supplied.? However, given that the repairing and tolerable standards detailed above require safety of appliances throughout the tenancy, regular portable appliance testing is one way to ensure that this is met. The recommendations are that annual checks at least are carried out on all portable appliances supplied in the property.? There should also be instructions available for the tenants and they should be encouraged to read and follow these.
Further, it is recommended that periodic inspection and testing of the electrical installations is carried out at least every five years or at the change of tenancy if earlier.? A landlord should ensure that an electrical safety inspection is carried out on the installations prior to the property being re-let, to check for any visible signs of concern.? Where the property is an HMO, such inspection may be required more frequently, however you should check with your local authority to confirm what their current practice is.
Private landlords should also bear in mind that it is essential that all fire alarm systems are regularly tested and serviced. In addition, the landlord should also ensure that they retain all relevant paperwork as regards the completed inspections on appliances and electrical installations.
If you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to contact a member of our?LetLaw team.