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Landlords guide to inspecting electrical appliances

As a landlord, it is your responsibility under law to make sure that the electrics in your property are safe.

Rented properties can be subject to significant wear and tear therefore it is crucial that landlords regularly identify and monitor the condition of electrics in their rented property. Should a tenant carry out their own electrical work without your knowledge, the work may not be up to current industry standards or compliant with Part P of the Building Regulations.

Inspecting Electrical Appliances
As a landlord it is your duty to be vigilant. One way to do this is to regularly inspect the electrical appliances within your rented property.  The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 requires that you ensure appliances are safe to use when first supplied. So, if you supply items such as kettles, toasters, washing machines, or almost anything else with a plug on the end, you need to check them regularly.

Here are some signs to look for:
  • Cuts or abrasions to cable coverings
  • Cracked casing or bent pins
  • Loose parts and screws
  • Burn marks
  • The outer covering of the cable not being gripped where it enters the plug or equipment
You may need to do a formal inspection, which requires the removal of the plug cover to check things such as:
  • The cord grip is holding the outer part of the cable tightly
  • The wires are attached to the correct terminals
  • No bare wire is visible other than at the terminals
  • The terminal screws are tight
  • There is no sign of internal damage
It is also best to avoid the use of extension leads. If they are used, they should be tested as portable appliances.  All socket outlets, which may be used for portable equipment outdoors, should be protected by a residual current device (RCD). This will provide protection against electric shock.
To help keep your properties safe, find an NICEIC registered contractor through our Find Contractors search facility.