Private Landlords' Responsibilities
Our guidance explains your responsibilities for making sure that your rental properties are electrically safe and offers practical advice to help you keep your tenants safe. Our leaflets are free to download and offer advice and guidance about your legal obligations to help you keep your tenants safe.
Landlord Electrical Safety Certificate Legal Requirement
Five Yearly Electrical Checks
From 1st June 2020, private landlords in England must have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe.
This means that:
- Electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1st July 2020
- Checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1st April 2021
These checks must then be carried out on a five yearly basis. If a landlord is found to not have complied with the law or if no attempt has been made to complete necessary remedial work that was identified, you could face a penalty fine of up to £30,000
What Landlords need to do in order to comply
In order to prove that your property is safe, the electrical installation needs to be inspected every five years. You should only employ a registered electrician who is specially assessed to carry out the electrical safety check on the property. Using an electrician who is registered with a competent persons scheme means that you have more protection and a complaints resolution procedure in the rare event anything goes wrong.
You can find a registered electrician near you on our website. Select the option ‘To undertake an electrical safety report’.
Following the inspection, the registered electrician will issue you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will either formally declare that the installation is safe for continued use, or highlight any suggested or urgent repairs that need to be made. A copy of the EICR must be provided to both new and retained tenants.
If the inspection has stated that remedial work is necessary, you can check whether your electrician is able to carry out the work or find a registered electrician by searching again, this time selecting the option 'To carry out installation or remedial work'.
Any remedial work or further investigation following the inspection must be addressed within 28 days, with written confirmation that the work has been completed provided to the tenant and Local Authority.
You do not need to have checks carried out on change of tenancy, as long as these fall within the five year period, but a copy of the EICR should be provided to new tenants.
Access to Properties
The new legislation states that landlords will not be in breach of the regulations if they can demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply. If for example, your tenant was refusing access to the property for an electrical safety check to be carried out, communications between the landlord and the tenant should be documented and kept as evidence of an attempt to comply. We recommend documenting and keeping all communications with both tenants and the electrician so that you can clearly show that you have attempted to comply with the regulations.
Although there are still restrictions in place due to Covid-19, these electrical checks are legally allowed to go ahead. If your tenants are shielding or refuse access, this could lead to a delay in accessing the property, in which case you should keep the correspondence to show that you have attempted to comply.
You can find out more by downloading our Guide for Landlords (at the side of this page) or by reading our Expert Q&A.
If your property is in Wales or Northern Ireland, we strongly recommend that you carry out five yearly electrical checks as part of your obligation to keep your tenants safe.
Register Your Appliances
If you are providing electrical appliances as a part of the rental agreement, make sure that you register them with the manufacturer. This means that if there is a problem, the manufacturer can contact you. You should also advise your tenants to register any electrical products that they bring into the property. You can find out more 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.
Electrical Safety First also recommends...
- That a visual inspection of the property is conducted between tenancies
- Making sure that your property has adequate RCD protection
- Using a registered electrician for any work on your property
- Carrying out regular safety checks on the electrical appliances provided as part of the rental agreement
- Downloading the 'Home Electrical Safety Check' smartphone app
Landlord in Scotland?
Advice for Private Landlords
Advice for Social Landlords