Electrical safety in rented homes

Find out what your landlord must to do to make sure electrical appliances and wiring in your home are safe.

Landlord's responsibility for electrical safety

All landlords are legally required to make sure the wiring and any electrical appliances they provide in a rented home are safe.

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.

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 and when the next inspection is due.

Electrical safety in a house in multiple occupation

If you live in a house in multiple occupation (HMO), your landlord must have the electrics checked every five years. Many shared homes and houses split into bedsits are considered HMOs.

Your landlord must get an electrician's periodic inspection report showing the property continues to be safe and give you a copy if you ask for it.

Signs that appliances are a safety risk

Warning signs that appliances are a safety risk 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. You should also email or write to them to confirm the details.

Find out how to:

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.

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.

Find a registered electrician in your area.

Last updated 15 Mar 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Get the government to build more social housing

You have the power to make sure they provide affordable housing for all those who need it

Sign the petition Sign the petition

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.