Electrical Safety for those Living in rented accommodation, tenants and landlords tips

Via the Electrical Safety Council tips and advices, besides the Tips for avoiding the potential electrical hazards, the simple rules for electrical safety in the home, the tips for safety in the kitchen, using the extension leads & adaptors, and electrical safety for outdoors, the Electrical Safety and You(the hazards and reducing the risk of electrical hazards), and the RCD explained – here are some simple advices to be applied in the rented accommodationelectrical safety in the Rented Accommodation. More exactly: do and don’t, the responsibilities of the tenant, what to look for in a new accommodation, the responsibilities of the landlord, and look out for these danger signs when using appliances!

Electrical Safety in Rented Accommodation – Do!

  • Do report any problems with the electrical installation or appliances to your landlord straight away;
  • Do use appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Do use an RCD when using electrical equipment outdoors;
  • Do regularly check the condition of plugs, cables and extension leads;
  • Do check that any adaptor used complies with British Standards and is adequately rated for the connected load;
  • Do remove plugs from sockets carefully. Pulling out a plug by the cable puts a strain on the terminations which can be dangerous.

Electrical Safety in Rented Accommodation – Don’t

  • Don’t carry out DIY repairs on electrical installations or appliances;
  • Don’t bring mains powered portable appliances into the bathroom;
  • Don’t ignore worn flexes on appliances;
  • Don’t use any electrical appliance with wet hands;
  • Don’t use adaptors plugged into other adaptors;
  • Don’t overload adaptors, particularly with high current appliances such as kettles, irons and heaters.

Electrical Safety in Rented Accommodation – Tenant responsibilities

  • Do not attempt to extend, repair or replace damaged or worn-out parts of the electrical installation yourself;
  • Ensure all electrical appliances are used responsibly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Report any problems with the electrical installation or appliances to your landlord straight away;
  • Allow access to the property should an electrician need to visit to carry out an inspection of the electrical installation/fix any reported problem.

Also, if you have reported a problem to your landlord and they have refused to put the situation right or ignored your request, you should contact your local authority who will be able to assist you. Local authorities will ensure a landlord is meeting their legal obligations and can take enforcement action against them if they are found not to be.

What to look for in new accommodation

  • An electrical report confirming that the electrical installation is safe for use (known as a Periodic Inspection Report);
  • Certification confirming that any recent electrical work meets the UK national standard BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations);
  • That sockets, switches and light fittings are in good condition with no signs of damage;
  • That any appliances are provided with manufacturer’s instructions, have up to date PAT test stickers on them (not required if appliance is new and has not been used before) and are in good working order.

Electrical Safety in Rented Accommodation – Landlord responsibilities

Your landlord is required by law to ensure:

  • that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when a tenancy begins;
  • that the electrical installation is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy; and
  • that any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).

In order to meet the above requirements your landlord will need to carry out regular basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances remain in good working order.

Look out for these danger signs when using appliances

  • Frayed, cut or damaged leads;
  • Cracked or damaged cases on plugs or appliances;
  • Burn marks on plugs, leads or appliances;
  • Blowing fuses;
  • Loose cord grips in plugs or appliances.

If you notice any of the above danger signs, stop using the appliance and report the problem to your landlord straight away.

Portable appliance testing (PAT) – The safety of appliances you bring into your accommodation is your responsibility. If you are in any doubt as to the safety of an appliance get it tested or replaced. Your landlord or college should have a system for inspecting and testing the portable equipment they provide.

These tips are from the ESC tips on Living in rented accommodation, safely. More tips – via the Switches and Sockets Articles section.

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