New Rules for Landlords Regarding Electrical Safety

Here at Belvoir! Corby we take the safety of our tenants very seriously, and often get asked why we insist upon landlords carrying out electrical safety tests.  Safety testing can prevent injury and illness of the tenants within a property which Landlord’s could prevent with simple and straight forward action being taken.

Landlords could be forced to pay tens of thousands of pounds for flouting electricity safety laws and putting their tenants at risk of serious injury or even death, a report has warned.

By law, landlords must ensure electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout a tenancy. A study by the Electrical Safety Council found that almost half of all landlords and tenants don’t know who is responsible for electrical safety. Around 1.7 million private renters reported electrical faults that are ignored or acted on too late.

Landlords are exposing themselves to fines of up to £20,000. The penalty for failing to maintain adequate electrical safety was previously £5,000. A fifth – around 300,000 – private landlords still believe there are no fines at all. Added to this, many landlords did not know their insurance may be invalidated if they failed to follow their obligations.

Ignoring their responsibilities means landlords are putting millions of UK private tenants at risk of serious accident or fire. Electrical accidents cause more than 350,000 serious injuries each year and more than half of all accidental house fires.

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), said: “We’ve found that many landlords are ignorant of their responsibilities. In the long term, we’d like to see tighter guidelines for landlords on electrical safety but with the number of non-professional landlords increasing every day, we also need to address this now. We need all landlords to understand that they are not only putting people’s lives at risk, but they could also face serious financial loss through fines or invalidated insurance if they don’t act on their existing obligations.”

Kay Boycott, of housing charity Shelter, agreed: “With more and more people now renting their homes, it’s more important than ever that landlords take their responsibility for electrical safety seriously. Most do the right thing, but at Shelter we still hear from families across the country who are living with the knowledge that an electrical fault in their home is putting their safety at risk. Anyone worried about electrical safety in their home can get advice at Shelter’s website.”

The ESC recommends landlords should have electrical appliances and installations checked at least every five years by a registered electrician, along with carrying out regular visual checks themselves. Anyone can find a local registered electrician by visiting the Electrical Safety Register.

Mr Buckle added: “Tenants can help themselves by maintaining electrical items they bring into the house and by reporting hazards to their landlord immediately. The ESC also advises that they ask the landlord for evidence that electrical safety checks have been conducted or approved by a registered electrician, before moving in. Whilst no legislation exists for tenant responsibilities relating to electrical safety, if they are complacent to the issues then it could result in a serious accident.”

To find out more about this, or to arrange an electrical safety test to be carried out on your property please contact us on 01536 267755 or email