Electrical safety in rented homes

All landlords have a legal duty to make sure that electrical appliances and wiring in your home are safe.

Landlord's responsibility for electrical safety

All landlords have a legal duty to make sure the wiring in rented homes is safe. Any electrical appliances they provide must be safe to use. This applies if you are a private, housing association or council tenant.

Your landlord should arrange regular basic safety checks for the electrics and appliances such as cookers, washing machines and fridges.

Your landlord can arrange for an electrical inspection by a qualified electrician before you move in.

If you live in a shared house your landlord must have an inspection carried out every five years.

Electrical appliances that have been checked by an electrician should have a PAT (portable appliance test) sticker on the plug. This shows the date it was tested.

Electrical safety in a house in multiple occupation

If you live in a shared house that has to be licensed by the council, your landlord must have the electrics checked every five years.

The landlord must get an electrician's periodic inspection report showing the property continues to be safe. This must be available to tenants.

Find out more about houses in multiple occupation.

Safety of your own appliances

The condition and safety of appliances you bring into your home are your responsibility.

If you have any doubts about the safety of your appliance, get it tested or replace it.

Use the Competent Person Electrical Register to find a registered electrician in your area.

Signs that appliances are a safety risk

Danger signs when using appliances include:

  • frayed, cut or damaged leads
  • cracked cases on plugs
  • burn marks on plugs or leads
  • blown fuses
  • loose cord grips in plugs or appliances
  • smell of burnt plastic

Get advice from Electrical Safety First on electrical safety in the home.

Ask your landlord about electrical safety

Tell your landlord immediately about any problems with appliances or the electrics to your landlord without delay.

Find out more about:

You must allow your landlord or an electrician access to your home to inspect or fix a problem. Your landlord should give you at least 24 hours' notice, unless it's an emergency.

If you have any questions about electrical safety in your home, ask your landlord for a copy of an electrician's inspection report.

If your landlord won't deal with safety complaints

If you've reported an electrical problem to your landlord and they refuse to fix it or they ignore your request, contact your local council's environmental health team.

The council can take action against landlords who don't comply with safety rules.

Find out more about problems with repairs in private rented homes and council or housing association homes.

Last updated 03 Dec 2015 | © Shelter

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