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Articles > Safe to Let? - Landlords’ Guide to Electrical Safety

Article kindly supplied by Helen Bleasdale,
PR & Marketing Manager, gas-elec Safety Systems

According to the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), the UK has a fairly good record of electrical safety. However, “there are still over 30 deaths and nearly 4,000 injuries from electrical accidents, and 8,000 fires that occur in the home each year.”

Most of the accidents in the home involve faults in, or misuse of, domestic appliances, flexes, plugs or connectors. A large number are related to electrical maintenance or DIY activities.

In line with this and in order to address the issues that are relevant to landlords, the ESC has produced the Landlords’ Guide to Electrical Safety to help landlords understand their responsibilities for electrical safety in their properties, as well as to provide practical advice on actions they should take to ensure the safety of their tenants.

Herewith the legislation that landlords need to be aware of:

Landlords and Tenant Act 1985

It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that he/she complies with the requirements of the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985.

Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales)

The landlord must comply with the requirements of the Housing Act 2004, including identifying areas where work is required and carrying out any related remedial actions/work, before the local authority carries out an inspection. Should a health and safety problem be identified, the inspecting officer can take enforcement action against you.

Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006

The manager’s duties include the duty to take safety measures, the duty to maintain the water supply and drainage, to supply and maintain gas and electricity and have tested regularly gas and electricity installations, the duty to maintain common parts, fixtures and fittings and living accommodation. The Regulations set out what occupiers must do with a view to assisting managers to undertake their duties.

Part P of the Building Regulations (England & Wales)

In domestic premises, apart from some types of minor work, all electrical work must either be notified to a building-control body (normally the local authority building control department) in advance of the work being started, or be carried out by an electrician who is registered with one of the Government-approved scheme providers.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England & Wales)

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England and Wales) requires any person who has some level of control in the premises to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. The responsible person must take steps to reduce the risk of fire, consider how to contain a fire should one break out, and then ensure people can safely escape if there is a fire.

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

EWR applies to landlords if, for example, maintenance staff are employed and when operatives are carrying out electrical installation work on the properties.

Miscellaneous electrical regulations and guidance

British Standard 7671: 2008 (IEE Wiring Regulations)

All electrical work in domestic properties should always meet the requirements of BS 7671, regardless of whether the landlord employs a registered electrician or other competent person.

British Standard 5839 Pt 1 & 6 Fire Alarms

The landlord needs to be aware of the requirements for fire alarm systems relating to his/her property or employ an expert that can offer advice.

British Standard 5266 Emergency Lighting

The landlord needs to be aware of the requirements for emergency lighting relating to his/her property or employ an expert that can offer advice. Guidance from the LACORS document (see Annex B) or advice from the local authority will usually provide the answers.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

The landlord must ensure electrical equipment conforms to Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and take reasonable steps to ensure ongoing safety.

Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment (ISITEE)

The landlord should ensure inspection and testing of electrical appliances is carried out by a competent person and that records providing documentary evidence of inspection and testing results are maintained.

NOTE: Full details can be found on the ESC’s website


Founded in 1996, gas-elec carries out impartial safety inspections and light remedial works. Its unique inspection service provides the residential lettings market with multiple inspections of the gas and electrics in just one visit. gas-elec has over 126 franchisees operating from 18 regional offices, who this year will carry out more than 120,000 safety inspections in domestic properties throughout the UK.

For more information visit


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