Who should carry out a periodic inspection?
Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians.
When does a periodic inspection need to be carried out?
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at the following times:
- for tenanted properties, every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever is sooner
- at least every 10 years for an owner-occupied home
- at least every 5 years for a business
The Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords of properties with short leases to keep the electrical wiring in repair and in proper working order. We recommend landlords arrange for periodic inspection and testing to be carried out by a registered electrician at the relevant intervals shown above.
Periodic inspection and testing of the electrics should be carried out more frequently on the places and premises listed here
- 3 years for a caravan
- 1 year for a swimming pool
Is surface wiring permitted?
Yes, provided it is installed in accordance with the British Standard 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations – IEE Wiring Regulations). This is the national safety standard for electrical wiring. The standard requires that all wiring is installed in such a way that damage from impact, abrasion and corrosive substances is avoided.
Does all redundant wiring have to be removed?
When an electrical installation is rewired, it is good practice to remove redundant wiring. If this is not possible, any redundant wiring must be permanently disconnected from any electrical supply so that it doesn’t present a risk.
When do I need a rewire?
There are no set guidelines as to when a property should be rewired. Just because your wiring’s old, doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. Many factors can affect the wear and tear of your electrical installation, including the materials used and how your property has been used.
We would advise that PIRs be carried out on owner-occupied properties at least every 10 years and every five years in rented accommodation. The test will certify whether the electrics in a property are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading. You should carry out regular checks around the house on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. If you notice anything unusual – burn marks on plugs and sockets, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping – get a registered electrician to check your electrics as soon as possible.
As a landlord, what responsibility do I have in relation to the electrics in a property that I intend to let?
You have a duty of care to your tenant and must ensure that the installation is safe when they enter the property and is maintained throughout their tenure.
The Landlords and Tenants Act (1985) requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
- safe when a tenancy begins and
- maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
We recommend that in order to comply with this Act, you get a registered electrician to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) on any property you intend to let before getting tenants in. This will certify whether the electrics are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading.
I am a Landlord, how often should I have an inspection carried out in my property?
If you own an HMO, you have a legal obligation to have a Periodic inspection Test (PIR) carried out on your property every five years.
If your property is not an HMO, then you are not legally obliged to get your installation tested on a periodic basis. However, we recommend that you have a full PIR carried out every five years or on change of tenancy – whichever comes first.
Our guidance is based on legal obligations set out in The Landlords and Tenant Act (1985) and the above information as been taken from. http://www.esc.org.uk/public/guides-and-advice/faqs/