Approximately 20% of UK housing stock is rented.
There are 2 main Acts of Parliament that impose a legal obligation on property owners
with respect to the safety of electrical equipment:
1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 landlords electrical testing obligations.
2. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
The Consumer Protection Act has an effect on all individuals who let real estate during the course of their business since it identifies them as «suppliers», i.e. they’re supplying goods to the tenant. There are a number of pieces of secondary legislation underneath the umbrella of the Consumer protection Act which are specifically relevant to the supply of electrical goods, such as:
1. The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
2. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
3. The General Product Safety Regulations 1994
4. The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
Electrical Safety in Rental Property
Apart from the Landlord’s Common Law duty of care, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (and several other statutory regulations see below)demands that the electrical products are free from danger at the outset of each tenancy and looked after in a safe condition for the duration of the tenancy.
Electrical hazards are also covered with the Housing Health and safety Rating System under the Housing Act 2004.
In the case of commercial premises and houses in multiple occupation there is a statutory duty under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 for the accountable individual (the property manager) to carry out annual Fire Safety Risk Assessments, that include electricians Camberley safety risks.
When you let property you have to make sure that the electrical system and all of the appliances supplied are secure — failure to abide by the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may lead to:
A fine of ?5,000 per non compliant item
Six months jail time
Possible manslaughter charges in case of deaths
The Tenant may also take legal action
Your property insurance could be invalidated
These regulations are imposed by the Health & Safety Executive.
In essence, these regulations impose an obligation on landlords to guarantee that all electrical equipment offered by them is safe for use by the tenant. The Consumer Protection Act offers 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.