Testing time for landlords

LANDLORD Assist, the nationwide tenant eviction and rent collection firm, is urging landlords to carry out regular testing on electrical equipment in rented properties.

Every year over 30 people are killed due to faulty electrics in the UK, and according to government figures almost 60 percent of all accidental fires in UK homes are caused by faulty or misused electrical appliances.

For landlords it is important that they carry out regular checks on electrical equipment as rented properties tend to receive more damage through general wear and tear.

The number of electrical appliances in rented accommodation has risen over the last few years as landlords try to target young people and professionals with modern furnishings and appliances. Subsequently Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) has become an increasingly important part of a landlord’s responsibility.

Although there isn’t a legal obligation for landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical appliances, they must ensure that all electrical equipment supplied as part of the tenancy is safe under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations.

Without carrying out regular tests, landlords could be found to have failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their tenants, and leave themselves liable to fines, imprisonment and invalidation of their property insurance.

Graham Kinnear, Managing Director at Landlord Assist says: “Nearly all fires caused by electrical appliances can be prevented by regular testing. Landlords must understand their legal obligations when it comes to electrical safety in their rental properties.

“Failure to check the condition of electrical appliances can put tenants in serious danger and result in prosecution.

Stephen Parry, Commercial Director at Landlord Assist says: “Although there is an obligation for regular PAT testing there is no legal requirement for landlords to complete annual electrical safety inspections in the same way as there is for gas appliances.

“Despite this, we recommend that landlords consciously carry out frequent periodic checks, either at the end of a tenancy agreement or on an annual basis.”

Landlord Assist provides advice and services to landlords and letting agents throughout the UK and can be contacted on 08707 662288 or via their website www.landlordassist.co.uk.