Why do landlords need to complete an electrical inspection?
The Consumer Protection Act affects all persons who let property in the course of their business because it defines them as "suppliers", i. e. they are supplying goods to the tenant - this will effect any landlord, even if their day to day business is something entirely different.
There are several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including: -
- The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
- The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
- The General Product Safety Regulations 1994
- The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1989
As a landlord you have a duty of care towards your tenants and under common contract law any installations and appliances must pass the 'Fitness of Purpose' test. In the event of a misfunction or even serious accident the lanlord may be held responsible unless 'due diligence' can be proven. The Consumer Protection Act provides a defence of 'due diligence', i. e. a landlord can defend a contravention of the Act if he can demonstrate that he took reasonable steps to avoid committing the offence.
Who can carry out electrical inspection of rental properties?
All electrical certification, including landlords certificates, should be carried out by an electrician who is registered with a national body such as the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT).
How often should a electrical inspection of rental properties be carried out?
It is advisable to have a full electrical inspection carried out every 5 years, this is dependant on the standard and age of the installation. This inspection checks the state of the electrical wiring throughout the property and checks the safety of the electrical installation. in addition to the full electrical inspection, a 'routine check' should be carried out once a year or on change of occupancy.
It is also advisable to carry out Portable Appliance Testing on all portable appliance once a year. Portable appliances are any appliances that you supply with the property that can be plugged into the mains electricity (i. e. TV, electrical heaters, lamps etc.).
Keith Maguire: Is a Full Scope Member of NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers) Competent Persons Scheme and is placed on the Full Scope Part 'P' Register for Approved Installers and is Authorised for All Electrical Systems.