Landlords & Tenants

Every year, in UK homes, around

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Deaths
0
injuries

are caused by faulty electrics and electrical equipment

Almost

0%
of all domestic fires are caused by

electricity

There is confusion amongst landlords and tenants over who has responsibility for electrical safety in rented properties.

1) Guidance for TENANTS

Who has responsibility for electrical safety in rented properties

IN ASSOCIATION WITH NICEIC

niceic-70pxNICEIC is the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry.

By law, your landlord must ensure that electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.

And as a tenant, you should feel obliged to flag electrical problems as soon as they appear, as well as maintain any electrical items you bring into the house.

Ask your landlord for

A report

Confirming that the electrical installation has been assessed and is safe to use (called an Electrical Installation Condition Report, previously referred to as a Periodic Inspection Report or PIR). It is recommended that a periodic inspection and test of the electrical installation should be carried out by an NICEIC electrician at least every five years or on change of tenancy.

Certification

Confirming that any recent electrical work meets the UK national standards BS 7671

If you have reported a problem to your landlord and he or she has refused to put the situation right or ignored your request, you should contact your local authority who will be able to help you. Local authorities will ensure a landlord is meeting their legal obligations and can take enforcement action against them.

You should never try to carry out your own electrical repairs.
To help you to carry out basic visual checks in your rented home, download this free Home Electrical Safety Checks smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/visualchecks

Electrical Safety Checklist

Here are

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simple safety tips

to help Landlords and their tenants make their homes safer:

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    DO get a full electrical inspection and test every 5 years or at change of occupancy

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    DO carry out a visual check of the electrics every 6 months

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    DO use an NICEIC electrician to carry out electrical work

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    DO check for worn or frayed wires and cables

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    DO check for signs of blackness or scorching around a socket, which could indicate overloading

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    DO check for broken electrical accessories, such as sockets and light switches

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    DO check regularly for a smell of hot plastic or burning near a socket

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    DO check for signs of sparks or smoke coming from a plug or appliance

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    DO use an RCD (Residual Current Device) for added protection against electric shock

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    DO test that the RCD is working every 3 months

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    DO test the smoke alarms every week

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    DON’T overload plug sockets

2) Contractual obligations

What steps should the tenant be taking from the beginning of the tenancy to protect their rights and ensure the return of their deposit at the end of the term?

IN ASSOCIATION WITH DISPUTE RESOLUTION OMBUDSMAN

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A free, independent and not-for-profit service settling disputes between consumers and retailers.

It is important to remember

you will have both legal rights and obligations under your tenancy agreement and if you have a tenancy agreement, it should be fair and comply with the law. However, the purpose of this information is not to focus on your rights, but your obligations to ensure that you are doing everything you need to do to comply with your requirements, stay safe from eviction and receive your deposit back at the end of the tenancy period.

Ensure the tenancy agreement is in writing

There are standard terms which you should check at the outset to avoid confusion later on

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    Term of tenancy contract

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    Rent - you should pay rent and any associated costs (such as Council Tax), even if you are in dispute with your Landlord;

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    Notice period and cancellation

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    The Landlord’s right of entry

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    Eviction

You will need to allow reasonable access upon receipt of notice to your landlord to carry out inspections and carry out necessary maintenance and repair. You should also notify your landlord of any issues so that these can be carried out in a timely manner. An element of fair wear and tear over the course of the tenancy is accepted, however you will be responsible for any damage you cause to the property. It is probably good practice to notify your landlord or agent who can arrange any repairs, at your expense. Remember though, you do have the right not to be harassed and if you think your landlord is being unreasonable, for example seeking to gain access late at night, you can report this to your local council.
This is an important piece of information as it documents the condition of the property when you move in – it may be used to compare the condition of the property when you move out, so should be checked carefully.
However it is good practice to seek express permission – remember you will be responsible for any pet damage. Sub-letting on the other hand, should not be arranged unless the tenancy agreement expressly permits this.
If a landlord wants to take back the property, they may do so only in conjunction with the express terms of the tenancy. This simply be because the landlord wishes to reside in the property again or to sell it with vacant possession. Note, however, that breach of any of the terms could lead to eviction and possible court order, for example non-payment of rent, anti-social behaviour etc.

how do you ensure you are able to claim back your deposit at the end of the tenancy?

Whether it is you or your landlord who serves notice to end the tenancy, you may be entitled to receive the deposit back in full if you have complied with the terms of the tenancy. In certain circumstances, your landlord will need to lodge the deposit at the tenancy deposit scheme who can deal with disputes arising out of this. If you are in dispute with the landlord over this, the tenancy deposit scheme will protect the deposit until this is resolved. In general terms, however, you will be entitled to receive your deposit back if you have paid the rent, not damaged the property and complied with the tenancy agreement. It is worth bearing these obligations in mind at the outset and during the period of your tenancy.

3) Gas safety

IN ASSOCIATION WITH GAS SAFE REGISTER

GS_logoFB-70px

Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely on gas appliances.

What you should know

Landlords

you should know your legal duties

Tenants

you should know your legal rights

landlords must

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    Arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a gas safety check every 12 months

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    Provide their tenant(s) with a copy of the landlord gas safety record before they move in and within 28 days of the check taking place

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    Maintain all gas appliances, gas pipework and flues provided by the landlord, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Checklist for landlords

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    Find a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer by visiting GasSafeRegister.co.uk or calling 0800 408 5500.

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    Check the Gas Safe registered engineer is qualified to work on all the gas appliances provided at the property.

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    Provide a copy of the landlord gas safety record to your tenants and keep your own copy for two years.

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    We recommend you install an audible carbon monoxide alarm.

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    Set a free annual reminder at StayGasSafe.co.uk and you’ll receive a text and/or email when the annual safety check is due.

Checklist for tenants

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    Ask for a copy of the current gas safety record before you move in.

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    Check the engineer is Gas Safe registered by asking to see their ID card, visiting GasSafeRegister.co.uk or calling 0800 408 5500.

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    Allow the Gas Safe registered engineer access to the property when safety checks and maintenance need to be carried out.

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    Arrange for your own gas appliances to be safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer every year.

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    If the landlord has not provided an audible carbon monoxide alarm, you should get one.

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    If your landlord refuses to carry out their legal gas duties, call the HSE on 0845 345 0055.

Recognise the signs?

Unsafe gas appliances can put you and your family at risk of gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO can kill without warning as you cannot see, smell or taste it, and the symptoms of CO poisoning are often mistaken for the flu.

  • headaches

    HEADACHES

  • nausea

    NAUSEA

  • breathlessness

    BREATHLESSNESS

  • collapse

    Collapse

  • dizziness

    Dizziness

  • loss-of-consciousness

    Loss of Consciousness

If you notice soot or staining on or around a gas appliance, yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones and excess condensation in the room, these are signs that the appliance is not working correctly.

If you think a gas appliance is faulty turn it off and let your landlord know.
If you feel unwell seek medical help immediately and call the gas emergency number on
0800 111 999.

4) Guidance for Landlords

As a landlord you will find yourself in a position where you need to employ an electrician to carry out work on your rented properties.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH NICEIC

niceic-70pxNICEIC is the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry.

If any potential defects, repairs or maintenance on the electrical installation within a domestic property and you need to put it right, always use electricians registered with NICEIC.

NICEIC registered contractors are:

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    Regularly assessed

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    Safe and compliant with regulations

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    Covered by Platinum Promise

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    Formal complaints procedure

Short guide
We have created a short guide which is intended to provide you and your tenants with useful and up-to-date advice on electrical safety and energy saving tips in domestic properties.
See more at: http://www.niceic.com/specifiers/landlords#sthash.B2OAs8Q4.dpuf

Electrical Safety

The
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major hazards from electricity

in properties are:

Electric shock

Electrical fire

Electrical burns

These may result from:

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    The electrical installation and equipment deteriorating over time

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    Damage to switches, sockets and other equipment

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    Misuse of the installation and equipment

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    Poor or lack of maintenance of the installation and equipment

niceic.com
It is recommended that an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is carried out every 5 years or when there is a change of occupancy.
If there is any doubt whether the electrics are safe, you should consult an electrician listed on niceic.com

Your responsibilities as a landlord

Landlords are required by law to ensure:

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    That the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration.

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    That a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has a periodic inspection carried out on the property every five years.

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    If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, we recommend that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at least every five years.

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    That any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).


To meet these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.

Periodic inspection explained

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use.

They should therefore be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’.

EICR

Once completed you will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report.

A periodic inspection will:

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    Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.

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    Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.

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    Identify any defective electrical work.

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    Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.

Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.