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Electricians of West London

  What Electrical responsibilities do landlords have?

There are no laws that specifically cover electrical safety in rented accommodation. However, your landlord should ensure that the electrical equipment and installations in your home are safe.

Any electrical equipment provided by your landlord must be safe, although there is no requirement for a safety certificate.

A good landlord should have an electrical inspection carried out by an electrician before a new tenant moves in. If your landlord has done this, each electrical appliance in the property should have a sticker on the plug showing the date it was tested. If the appliances in your accommodation have not been tested, you can ask your landlord to get an inspection done, although they are under no obligation to do so. If you're really concerned, you can get an inspection carried out yourself.

Your landlord is also responsible for maintaining and repairing the wiring and all electrical installations in your home that they have provided.

If you think the electrical equipment in your accommodation is unsafe and your landlord refuses to do anything about it, you should contact a local advice centre to see whether you can take action.

What are the dangers?

If electrical items in your home are unsafe, you could be at risk of:

  • electric shocks - severe electric shocks can cause heart failure
  • electrical burns - these can require major surgery and can be permanently damaging
  • fire - every year, 12,500 fires are caused in UK homes by electrical faults.

What are the danger signs?

You can also check for possible danger signs yourself. These include:

  • plugs or wall sockets which are overheating or are scorched or cracked
  • cables or wires which are loose, exposed or fraying
  • a burning smell when appliances are switched on
  • fuses which blow frequently.

If you are concerned about any of the electrical installations or appliances in your home, speak to your landlord or call in an electrician immediately.

How can I reduce the risks?

There are several things you can do to minimise risks of electrical shocks or fires in your home. For example:

  • Make sure cables from electrical appliances (including extension cables) don't run underneath carpets or rugs.
  • Don't overload wall sockets. If you need to use an adaptor, use a multi-socket trailing adaptor, not a multi-way adaptor that plugs straight into the socket.
  • If you need to use an extension cable, don't use a longer one than you need. Don't keep extension cables coiled, as they may overheat.
  • Don't exceed the recommended bulb wattage for light fittings.
  • Don't put too high a fuse in plugs
  • Never use mains powered equipment in bathrooms or near water.
  • Don't leave electrical appliances switched on or on stand by when you're not using them - this will save you money as well as improve safety.
  • Electric blankets are a common cause of fires - the Trading Standards Institute recommends that you get them serviced every three years.
  • Make sure that your home has smoke alarms fitted and that they are all in working order.
  • Make sure you can access the the fuse box and meter easily. Keep a torch nearby, so you can see what you're doing if the lights go out.
  • Don't touch or use any electrical items that you think are unsafe.
  • Plan what to do in case of fire and be aware of all escape routes.
  • Make sure that exit routes are always kept clear.

The NICEIC website has lots more useful information on electrical safety in the home and garden.

What does an electrical inspection involve?

The NICEIC recommends that you should get your home inspected by an approved electrical contractor every ten years. In addition, landlords should get rental properties inspected before they are let out.

During the inspection, the electrical contractor will:

  • check for potential electrical shock risks
  • check for electrical fire hazards
  • make sure your electrical circuits and equipment are not overloaded
  • make sure all the wiring is safe
  • test all electrical appliances.

If the inspection report highlights any urgent problems, you or your landlord will need to get them fixed as soon as possible.

Special Offer on Electrical Work and NICEIC Test

 We recommend Electricians of West London as approved NICEIC Electrical Contractors, www.eowl.co.uk

Electricians of West London

Contact EOWL and mention M & S Property Investments to recieve a discount of 20% of all work carried out. We have arranged a special rate of £90 (normally £160) for an NICEIC


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