Why you need a landlord electrical safety certificate

Landlords all over the country are exposed to significant financial risks, such as fines and invalid insurance claims, as a result of not following their electrical safety obligations. The risks go beyond financial losses as millions of private renters across the UK are living in homes that may not be safe.

If you are unsure about why you need an electrical safety certificate and how to obtain one, then let Hamilton Fraser help. We have created a comprehensive guide to provide you with all the essential information you need to help you make the best choices for your property.

It is your legal duty, as a landlord, to ensure the safety of all the electrical equipment supplied throughout your property and to ensure that it is maintained for the duration of a tenancy. This responsibility includes all fixed electrical equipment supplied through the property’s electrical meter and extends to plugs, light fixtures and internal wiring too. Just like with any other features of a property, electrical installations are subject to wear and tear and therefore require maintenance and safety assurances.

Below are some important things to consider before obtaining a landlord electrical safety certificate.


Houses in multiple occupation

If you have a house in multiple occupation (HMO), defined as at least three tenants living there, then management regulations require landlords to take safety measures that ensure fixed electrical installations are tested in intervals of at least five years, by a qualified electrician. A certificate should then be obtained, and the local authority may require it to be produced within seven days if requested. Currently there is a government proposal in place that would expand this requirement to all rental properties, but it has not yet come into force.


Part P building regulations

This regulation requires that most of the fixed electrical installations in a rental property meet building regulations. This can be done by either pre-notifying the local authority of any work that is to take place or by employing the services of a registered electrician under one of the government’s approved schemes.


Electrical installations

Landlords should carry out regular visual safety checks of all the electrical installations in a property between tenancies to make sure they are safe. This will give landlords a chance to spot any broken or damaged items like light switches and sockets, before they get a chance to cause damage to the property.

Get a landlord insurance quote

Get a quote online in under 4 minutes

Electrical appliances

The government currently does not legally require landlords to carry out portable appliance tests’ this is up to the landlord’s discretion. Landlords may nevertheless wish to carry out such checks at the point of letting to avoid any potential disputes or damage caused by faulty appliances.

Maintaining electrical safety is undoubtedly crucial when letting out a property, since electrical installation upgrades also benefit landlords through the material improvement of properties that can prevent fires, causing significant and expensive damage. Make sure that any work required is carried out by a qualified electrician, thus guaranteeing the safety of electrical installations.


New minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES)

Landlords should also remember that they are legally obliged to provide an Energy Performance Certificate before a tenant moves in, either during the viewing or at least before the tenancy agreement is signed.

A copy of the certificate must be given to any tenant who moves in to the property. Certificates are valid for ten years but the property should be reassessed if there have been any major changes since the last evaluation, particularly in the light of the introduction of new minimum standards.

On the 1st April 2018 new minimum energy efficiency standards came into force meaning that any property rented out privately must have a minimum emergency performance rating of E.

As a result of the regulation, landlords will be breaking the law if they grant a new lease on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating that is below E.

If a property has an EPC rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’, steps should be taken to improve the energy efficiency of the property so that it meets minimum requirements, or risk a potential penalty fine.

You can find further information in the Government’s ‘domestic landlord guidance’ document here.

Remember, Hamilton Fraser is here to help protect your rental income and property. We have been providing award-winning landlord insurance and comprehensive cover for landlords since 1996. Our dedicated experts excel at delivering high quality customer service and tailored insurance policies that meet your business requirements.

Click here to find out more about the right policy for you.

Get a landlord insurance quote

Get a quote online in under 4 minutes