Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, any electrical equipment and products which are supplied to the Tenant in a property have to be safe. Whereas within the Gas Safety Regulations it is a mandatory requirement for the gas equipment to go through safety testing, however you still have a proper responsibility, duty of care, to ensure that the electrical equipment are fit for use and safe.
Here are some guidelines that apply to all electrical appliances supplied for the tenancy:
• live parts should not be accessible; • multiple plug sockets and trailing leads are to be avoided;• plug sockets should always be firmly fastened to the wall or skirting boards; • all plugs must be Industry Safety Standard (marked ‘B SECTION 136’) correctly fitted and fused; • leads should not be worn or frayed and be 'whole' without any joins;
• if there are any moving parts then these should be properly protected and guarded; • electrical heaters and central heating appliances are serviced each year;
• electric blankets should be serviced following the manufacturer’s instructions; • washing machines, cookers, etc, should be serviced and in good working order;
• microwaves, including their doors are clean, free from corrosion and are in proper working order;• fireguards are required to meet BS3248; and
• any fire extinguishers should be marked ‘BS6575 1985’.
It is not a compulsory requirement for the electrical equipment to be checked and there are not any regulations that tell you how often the electrical appliances and supply must be checked.We cannot state strongly enough that it is in every Landlords' best interests to make sure that all electrical appliances and electrics (wiring, plugs and sockets, etc), should be properly inspected and checked before every new tenancy starts, (after all the previous occupiers may not have been safety conscious in their habits)and then at regular timed intervals throughout the years.
Landlords or Agents who are found guilty of not following these regulations can expect to face severe penalties with heavy fines and it may also lead to imprisonment.
Landlords and/or Agents who can prove that all the necessary and ‘reasonable’ steps had been taken and that all due diligence, to avoid committing an offence and also by rectifying any problems that they have been made aware of, will help avoid a possible prosecution.
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