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.
Your Landlord's Responsibilities
By law, your landlord must ensure that electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout your tenancy.
From 1st June 2020, private landlords in England will be required to have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe. If you are a new tenant, this should be completed before you move in, and checks on existing tenancies must be carried out by 1st April 2021.
Following the inspection, an Electricial Installation Condition Report (EICR) will be issued. Your landlord should provide you with a copy.
If any electrical work is carried out in the property, ask your landlord for certification confirming that it meets the UK national standard BS 7671.
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.
If you have reported a problem to your landlord and they have 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.
If you have bought any electrical products for use in your rented home - whether it's a large item like a fridge or a TV or something smaller like a kettle or hairdryer - make sure that you register the appliance with the manufacturer. This means that if there is a problem and the item needs to be recalled, they will be able to contact you. As most electrical products that are recalled have a risk of fire or electric shock, registering will give you the peace of mind that you are keeping your family and their home safe. You can find out more about product registration here and also use our product checker to find out if any of the products that you own have been recalled.
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