As a landlord, you are legally responsible for ensuring that the electrics in your building are safe and maintained to a safe standard. Failing to keep your tenants safe could mean being fined up to £5000.
Unless you are a qualified electrician you can not do this yourself and just because a building was safe 10 years ago does not mean it still is. The best way to look after your tenant’s and your own interests is to get a qualified and reputable electrician to test and maintain the electrics in your building.
A good electrician will be able to offer a testing and inspection service. This will give you a report listing any concerns as well as grading these into areas that are dangerous and need immediate attention and others that are advisable but not critical. They should also be able to advise you in things that your energy provider should be doing for you if they see any issues that they are responsible for.
They can look at all the different types of electrical installations you are responsible for including:
- Fixed wiring (all wiring or electrical equipment that is permanent and can’t be moved)
- Portable electric items (ones that can be moved and usually plugged into a socket)
The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is for the fixed wiring and should be carried out every 5 years or when occupancy changes.
The portable items can be tested with Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). This is not mandatory but if you are providing a furnished property it shows tenants that you are responsible landlord.
When you find a good electrical contractor they will happily keep track of when your tests are due and make sure they keep you safe and legal. Make sure you find a qualified and recommended electrician, get quotes, ask for references and check they are registered with a reputable governing body like the NICEIC