Landlord Electrical Safety Guide

Faulty electrics can cause serious damage, injuries, and even death. If you are a landlord and one of your tenants comes to harm, you could face serious financial or criminal penalties. The moral burden of a fatal or serious accident caused by your negligence is a hard one to bear. For the sake of your tenants and yourself it is imperative that you ensure the electrics in your property are in safe working order.

While you are not required by law to carry out annual safety checks for electricity as you are gas appliances, you are still liable should anything go wrong in your property. Your responsibilities as a landlord are outlined by several regulations, including the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Fire (Safety) Scotland Regulations 2006.

Here’s a quick introduction to key things about electrical safety for landlords.

Failure to comply can see serious repercussions

It is a criminal offence to ignore the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994, or the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The Health & Safety Executive enforces these regulations, and if your property does not meet the requirements you could face fines and penalties. The Health & Safety Executive can fine you £5000 for each item that does not comply with regulations, and you could end up with six months in prison.

If anyone dies because of faulty or poorly maintained electrics you could face manslaughter charges. You could also be sued for civil damages by your tenants if they are hurt, and any accidents caused by faulty electrics could see your property insurance invalidated.

In some cases you can even be punished for injuries caused to someone who is trespassing on your property.

Get trained and accredited electricians in Glasgow

It is best not to attempt any electrical work yourself. Due to the potentially fatal consequences of faulty electrics, where even a single mistake can result in serious accident or loss of life, you should always hire trained electricians in Glasgow to carry out the work. This way you can be sure that the electrics in your property are safe and meet your safety obligations.

How to ensure your electrics are up to a ‘good’ standard

You should remember that the regulations also apply to cables hidden in walls, accessories such as light fittings and switches, and the consumer unit and circuit breakers. There are lots of different things that contribute to ‘good’ electrics.

For example, you should ensure there are enough sockets in the property for a reasonable number of electrical appliances, as this reduces the likelihood of your tenants using adapters or stretching cables across the floor.

The circuit breaker should have good earthing arrangements so that an electrical fault can be quickly neutralised before it can cause shock or fire. It is also worth installing a Residual Current Device as this provides additional protection from electric shock.

Carry out regular inspections and know how to spot potential problems

You need to fix faults and repair damage as soon as possible to minimise the risk of anyone coming to harm. Things to look out for include broken light switches or sockets, scorch marks around sockets, a strong smell (which is often fishlike in nature) which suggests electrical equipment is overheating, and damage to the cables of portable appliances.

Don’t risk the serious consequences that can arise from faulty electrics within your property. Contact us today to arrange for trained electricians in Glasgow to inspect your premises.