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Landlord Advice 


Electrical Installation Condition Reports 

Although there is no legal obligation to carry out regular checks on the electrics in a rental property, landlords do have an obligation to ensure that the property is safe.

The Electrical Safety Council recommends that you have electrical installation in rented properties checked every five years. You can do this by having a qualified electrician fill out an Electrical Installation Condition Report. It is also recommended that you visually inspect your property every year.

A visual inspection includes checking for the following potential hazards:

Fusebox (Consumer unit)

  • All covers are in place and fitted correctly (a damaged cover could lead to a shock or fire risk)
  • Residual Current Device (RCD)* trips when the test (or T) button is pressed
  • Combustible materials are not stored on or near the Fusebox (e.g. paint, newspapers, cleaning fluids)

Sockets and lighting

  • Sockets, lights and switches are securely fixed and in good condition (e.g. not broken or cracked)
  • Sockets, lights and switches show no signs of overheating (e.g. blackening, scorch marks )
  • Flexible cables are not in a position where they are likely to suffer damage (e.g. under carpets or rugs, passing through door/ window openings)
  • Sockets are not overloaded with too many appliances (e.g. inappropriate use of adaptors and/or extension leads)

Electrical appliances

  • Appliances are not subject to a product recall (Visit www.esc.org.uk/recall to check the appliances in your property)
  • All covers are in place and in a satisfactory condition (a damaged casing could lead to a shock or fire risk)
  • Flexible cables are in a satisfactory condition and show no signs of deterioration (e.g. fraying/ splitting)
  • Flexible cables are securely attached to the appliance and plug

Additional safety checks

  • Smoke alarm sounds when the test button is operated
  • Carbon monoxide alarm sounds when the test button is operated

*An RCD is designed to protect against the risks of electrocution and fire caused by earth faults.

A checklist form can be downloaded here. You can download an advice guide 'The Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety' which sets out your legal obligations and recommendations for keeping your tenants and properties safe.

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) 

Landlords are legally obligated to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report every five years where the house is in multiple occupation, e.g. two or more flats within one property, shared accommodation, bed sits etc. A periodic inspection report showing the property continues to be electrically safe must be available.

Contact us if you're current certificate has expired or if you require a new certificate.

The full legal definition of a HMO is contained within the Housing Act 2004 which can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website.

Fire Safety

To safeguard your tenants from the risk of fire, you will need to ensure that there is a suitable fire detection and fire alarm system, which should be regularly tested and maintained.

A properly installed and maintained fire alarm will alert occupants to a fire in its early stages, allowing them to get to a place of safety before escape routes become blocked by smoke or fire. The system should be designed to wake people who are sleeping and to alert them to fire in any hidden areas - such as boiler rooms, storerooms, cellars or lofts (if they contain equipment such as solar PV inverters or central heating boilers) - before the fire affects the escape route.

Loose connections in electrical equipment and parts of the electrical installation (such as sockets) can result in fire. Incorrectly selected fuses or circuit-breakers can also lead to overheated cables.

Many fires in the home start in the kitchen and are usually caused by cooking appliances. Other causes of fire include cigarettes and candles, and clothes being hung over heaters to dry.

For houses with multiple occupation (HMO) requirements are greater than in a property being rented to a single family or to two individuals as statistically fires are more likely to start in HMO properties and the harms are greater.

Some of the fire safety requirements you may be asked to provide within the property are as follows:

  • a mains wired, interlinked fire alarm system provided throughout the property
  • a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistant to be provided through the means of escape at the property
  • locks on all exit doors from the property to be able to be operated without the use of a key
  • fire blanket provided in the kitchen
  • fire extinguishers provided in the hallways
  • means of escape route to be kept clear
  • emergency light on each floor and on each turn of communal hallways

However the requirements for HMOs vary from Local Authority to Local Authority so if you own or manage a HMO, it is always best to contact your local authority for their requirements.

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