When renting

Tenants - stay safe in your rented home

Every year around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes are caused by faulty electrics and electrical equipment.  Almost half of all domestic fires are caused by electricity. And if you live in a privately rented property, statistics show that you are at a higher risk of electric shock.

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

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). Electrical Safety First recommends that a periodic inspection and test of the electrical installation should be carried out by a registered 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 our free Home Electrical Safety Checks smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/visualchecks