How Often Should Electrics Be Checked in a Rented Home?

Electrical Safety Rules for All Tenancies

Councils, housing associations and private landlords must make sure the electrics in a property are safe and legal. This is for the whole lifetime of an official tenancy.

All wiring and electrical installations must be kept in safe working order. Installations can include appliances and fittings such as:

  • Electric water heaters
  • Heating systems
  • Plug sockets
  • Fuse boxes
  • Light fittings

This applies to almost all tenancies even if it is not directly mentioned in your agreement.

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020. It applies to all tenancies that are created on or after such date in England from 1 July 2020.

These new regulations require all landlords to have any electrical installations in their rented properties inspected at least every 5 years. They must also be tested by a person who is qualified, registered and competent.

Landlords also have to provide an official copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants and to the local authority if requested.

Your Electrics Should Be Checked Every 5 Years

Due to the above legislation, from 1st June 2020, private landlords in England are required to have electrics and electrical installations checked every 5 years in their rental properties.

Checks must be carried out by a fully qualified electrician to ensure that they meet safety standards.

What Does This Mean For You?

From 1st July 2020, electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of any new tenancy. All checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1st April 2021. Moving forward, these checks must then be carried out on a five yearly basis.

A copy of the most recent electrical safety condition report (EICR) must legally be provided to both new and current tenants.

Who’s Responsible for Checking My Electrics?

The landlord of the property is responsible for making sure that any selected electrician who completes the check is suitably qualified and registered.

The best way to ensure you’re working with a professional electrical contractor is to check whether they’re a member of an accredited registration scheme. These are often operated by a recognized body and will give you the confidence that this has been achieved.

Do I need To Check My Electrical Appliances?

As a landlord, if you are supplying electrical appliances as a part of the signed rental agreement, you need to make sure that you register the appliances with the manufacturer.

As a tenant, your landlord may ask a qualified electrician to carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on all electrical equipment they have supplied you with the tenancy. For example: TVs, white goods, kettles or toasters.

This means that in the event of a fault or electrical problem, the manufacturer can contact and guide you. It is also advised to ask your tenants to register any electrical products that they bring into the rental property.

Find out more about registering your electrical appliances here.

You can also use Electrical Safety First’s product checker to find out if any of the appliances that you and your tenants own have been subject to a recall or safety notice.

My EICR is Less Than 5 years Old, Do I Have to Get Another One Done?

No, not necessarily, although it is best to consult a professional electrician on this. You should make sure to review your report and see what was recommended on it. And consider the state of your property and how it has been let since it was carried out.

If there are big differences that have occurred to the property, e.g. high turnover of tenants, flood damage, DIY work found, then it would be essential to get another electrical safety report done. If no changes have been made, then your report will remain valid for the full 5 years. And until the next inspection date specified on the previous report.

How IPF Electrical Can Help

Contact us today to discuss how we can help with your Electrical Checks & Reports. We offer a wide range of services, including Fixed Wire Testing and PAT Testing.