Prior to the commencement of a tenancy, an electrical safety check must be commissioned and must be carried out by a competent person to ensure that the supply of electricity and all of the appliances are legal. This includes supplying instruction books where needed for safe use.This Regulation means that Landlords have a legal obligation and a duty of care to ensure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment supplied is certified and safe. The Regulations have been mandatory since 1st January 1997.
The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
Safe when a tenancy begins and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. Although the UK has a fairly good record of electrical safety, there are still over 30 deaths and nearly 4000 injuries from electrical accidents and the 8000 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. The major dangers to health from electrical accidents are from shock, burns, electrical explosion or arcing, fire, and mechanical movements initiated by electricity.The causes of such incidents arevaried but include: deterioration of the electrical installation; broken accessories and equipment; misuse of the installation and equipment and occasional vandalism; and inconsistent maintenance programmes.