There is an unfortunate grey area when it comes to the legal obligations of landlords and their concerns in meeting electrical safety. However, unlike gas safety certs, although there are no current statutory laws that state landlords must perform on-going electrical checks, there are other various statutory regulations under Common Law that do apply: The Landlord and Tennant Act 1985;The Housing act 2004, The Electrical Equipment Regulations 1994 / plugs and sockets regulations 1994. All of which come under the consumer protection act 1987, which sates that there is an obligation for Landlords to ensure all electrical equipment is safe and that all associated electrical systems must be installed and maintained correctly.
Failure to provide safely installed equipment, be that fixed or portable, can lead to prosecution and be seen as a criminal offence. The possible penalties for non-compliance are as follows.
- Your property insurance may be invalidated
- A fine of £5,000 per item not complying
- Six months imprisonment
- The tenant may also sue you for civil damages
- Possible manslaughter charges in the event of death.
Moreover, under building regulations Part P, for the most part, all new electrical work is covered by a statutory regulation and therefore, must be installed by a competent person who is deemed capable of self -notification upon completion. This means avoid DIY electrical work and only use a trained Electrician who is registered and can, if necessary, be held accountable.
Almost all estate agents today will require you to provide an Electrical Periodic Inspection/Pat Testing Report, before you let you property.