I am a novice landlord, what electrical checks have to be done legally before I can rent my property out? And how frequently do they have to be done?

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This is a very involved area, my answer applies to a single property that is not classed as a house of multiple occupancy.

An electrical installation in a rented property is legally required to be safe when the tenancy begins, this is the responsibility of the landlord and the safe condition must be maintained throughout the tenancy.

To meet the legal requirements, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (previously known as a Periodic Inspection Report or P.I.R)must be carried out and the property awarded a satisfactory certificate. If the property receives an unsatisfactory certificate, remedial works will need to be completed to bring the installation up to code before the tenancy commences.

It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that the electrician is competent and capable of carrying out the task at hand. The satisfactory certificate should be retained by the landlord, as it not only proves that the property is safe, but will contain the date that the next inspection is required. The frequency of the reports is usually between 1-5 years, depending on the age and condition of the electrical installation.

If a new tenant is due to enter the property, another report must take place before they do. Any portable appliances that are left at the premises must be tested regularly too, so leave as few as possible.

Original questions from Simply Holbeach and answers provided by Kelvin Goulden

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