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Are Landlords Responsible For Electrical Problems

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Ensuring the electrical safety of rental properties is a severe task for landlords. It is all about keeping tenants safe and meeting legal standards. You see, while we use electricity daily without much thought, it can become dangerous as systems and appliances age.

Indeed, landlords are the ones who must ensure that the electrical systems in their rental properties are up to code and safe to use. They have this duty under the law.

In 2019, sadly, 166 lives were lost due to electrical issues, highlighting the need for regular safety checks.

Landlords must stay on top of this, conducting periodic inspections and portable appliance testing (PAT).

It is a big deal because neglecting these duties can have serious consequences, including heavy fines.

This guide will walk you through the what, why, and how of keeping rental properties electrically sound, ensuring you are up to date with the electrical safety certificate requirements, and safeguarding your tenants' well-being.

What are Landlord Electrical Safety Certificates

A commercial landlord has a big job to keep the electricity in check. After a pro electrician gives the thumbs up, the landlord gets a safety certificate.

This proves the place is secure for people living there. It checks the basics like wires, plugs, and lights. The report will also tell the landlord if anything needs fixing up. This certificate is a must-have by law.

It ensures the power setup is up to snuff, there is no shoddy electrical work, and everything's grounded right.

What are the Landlord’s Responsibilities

Landlords have essential duties to keep electrical systems safe, whether a home is rented with furniture or not. Wiring and appliances must be secure for tenants.

To learn about these landlord electrical responsibilities, keep reading. This info is crucial for safety. Need more details? The government's website is the place to go.

Electrical Checks

Since June 1, 2020, in England, it has been a must for landlords to get their property's electrical systems checked by a pro.

This has to be done before a new renter moves in and then every five years.

If landlords skip these checks, they could be hit with a hefty fine, up to £30,000.

The fine amount depends on how much they have ignored the rules and if they have tried to fix things up. It is all about keeping tenants safe and ensuring everything's up to snuff with the wiring.


In England, landlords must get their property's electric systems checked by a professional every five years. This is to make sure everything is safe and meets government safety standards.

A qualified electrician will do this job and then provide a report called the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

This report will say if everything is okay or if issues need fixing. If something needs to be fixed, the landlord has 28 days to do it.

This process is not just crucial for safety, but it's also a legal must-have, known as landlord certificates UK, to help landlords avoid any legal problems.

Register Electrical Appliances

Electrical gadgets can break down for various reasons—sometimes due to everyday use over time, occasionally from environmental factors, or even a hiccup from the factory.

That is why it is smart for landlords to register these items with the maker. Tenants should do the same for any electric gear they bring along.

This way, everyone's in the loop and can stay ahead of any issues. Remember to record these electrical test reports – they are essential.

Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate Legal Requirement

Five Yearly Electrical Checks

If you are a landlord in the UK, keeping your property's electricity checked every five years is a smart move. A qualified electrician can give you an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This report will tell you if everything's safe or any fixes are needed.

It is not just good practice; it is the law in England and Scotland for rental homes, and Wales will follow from July 2022.

Even in Northern Ireland, where it is unnecessary, it is still a good idea for your tenants' safety. You can learn more about what you must do on the government's site.

Register Your Appliances

If you are a landlord, here is the deal: When you offer a place with electrical goodies included, always register them with the maker. It is like giving them a heads-up to reach out if something is wrong.

Tell your renters to do the same with their gear. To stay extra safe, check out here.

They have a handy tool to see if any gadget has been flagged for safety oopsies.

It is all about keeping everyone safe and sound, and a landlord electrical safety certificate is your best friend in this mission.

Things That shouldn’t Be Provided By a Landlord

  • Dodgy wiring that is not up to snuff.

  • Worn-out cables that should not be seen.

  • Lights that blink on and off because the power's all over the place.

  • If only your house goes dark, not the neighbours', that i s a clue.

  • Cracked or broken covers on outlets expose dangerous wires.

  • Wobbly wall sockets that should be tight and secure.

  • Are sparks flying when you plug something in? Need improvement.

  • A fuse box that is more off than on.

  • Light bulbs that give up the ghost way too soon.

  • Switches that have a mind of their own.

  • The landlord's gear (like washers or heaters) breaks down on you.

Basic Electrical Equipment Provided By the Landlord To Tenants

  • If a tenant finds their washing machine or dishwasher on the fritz, it is not on them to fix it. That's a job for the landlord.

  • Need to bake or shower with no hot water? Again, it is the landlord's job to get the electric oven and boiler back in action.

  • For smaller items like kettles, lamps, or TVs that go kaput, the tenant should jot down the issue and tell the landlord in writing. This keeps things clear and can help if there's ever a dispute.

  • It's also up to the landlord to show the tenant how to use all this stuff properly. From switching on and off to troubleshooting – they need to cover the work.

  • Regular safety checks? A must. Landlords should do Portable Appliance Tests (PAT) to keep things safe and sound.

  • Lastly, everything should be up to code, carrying a CE mark to show they meet European Standards.

Things Tenant Should Be Aware Of

  • Look out for broken or cracked plug casings.

  • Spot any scorch marks or signs of burns.

  • Make sure cables and wires are intact and not damaged.

  • Double-check for any loose parts or dangling wires.

  • Watch out for any dents, cracks, or parts that are bent out of shape.

  • Ensure no parts are missing on your appliances.

Remember, each time a new tenant moves in, you must ensure all electrical appliances have been inspected, even if they were recently given the green light. Safety first!

Are Commercial Landlords Responsible For Electrics

When you own a commercial space where businesses operate, you have a crucial role to play.

As a responsible property manager, it's essential to keep tips to select an emergency electrician handy, ensuring that all electrical components, from the lights and sockets to the wires, are safe and maintained to the highest standard.

This is not just being nice—it i s the law. Your tenants have to be able to work without worrying about an electrical hiccup putting them in danger. Keep it all in check, and you will be the kind of commercial landlord folks trust.


Can a landlord do electrical work?

A landlord can do electrical work only if they are qualified and competent. Otherwise, they must hire a professional to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.

What appliances does a landlord have to provide the UK?

In the UK, landlords are not legally required to provide any appliances. However, if provided, gas appliances, pipework, and flues must be maintained safely and regularly checked.

Is the landlord responsible for the electrical fire?

If an electrical fire occurs due to the landlord's negligence in maintaining electrical safety, the landlord could indeed be responsible for it.

What is basic electrical safety?

Basic electrical safety involves ensuring all electrical installations and appliances are in good working order, properly installed, and regularly inspected to prevent hazards.

What repairs are landlords responsible for in the UK?

In the UK, landlords are responsible for most repairs, including the structure and exterior of the property, electrical, heating and hot water systems, basins, sinks, baths, and other sanitary fittings.


If you are renting out a place, you have got to keep it electrically safe. That is the law, plain and simple. Since 1994, and with some updates in 2020, the rules are clear.

Most landlords are on the ball with this, but if you still need to, it is time to get in line.

Every five years, your property needs an electrical check-up. And remember the PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) when welcoming new tenants.

It is on you, the landlord, to ensure everything i s in working order. You can even teach your tenants what to look out for.

Remember, things wear out over time, including wires and appliances. Stick to the rules to avoid trouble. Keep records of all the checks you do.

If you do not, and something goes wrong, you could be hit with a fine that is as steep as £30,000. Stay safe, stay compliant, and keep those records tidy.

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