The vast majority of landlords nowadays are keen to ensure their tenants are happy – its not just the legal aspect, its also the moral aspect and ‘doing the right thing’ – treat others as you would like to be treated yourself is an age old saying that I live by everyday as do the landlords I carry out work for.
I am all too aware though that there are landlords out there who don’t co-operate when their tenants report a problem. Worse still some landlords do not carry out checks on the property which they should be doing as a legal requirement. Recently I went to a rented property where there had been no electrical inspection carried out on the property – there had been dangerous alternations to the consumer unit and there was no RCD protection – the tenant had been using an extension lead with an incorrect fuse fitted as a means to use a washing machine – there was only 1 socket in the entire kitchen. This all came to light (excuse the pun!) after an electric shower caught fire whilst in use – the tenant thankfully was unharmed.
That was just the electrics…..enough said!
If you are a tenant there are a few things you need to do yourself in order that you stay electrically safe in your home.
- If there is a problem, please tell your landlord as soon as possible. Don’t wait to see what happens.
- When using electrical appliances, always take a few common sense precautions! – don’t use any appliance with damaged cables or plugs, and don’t overload adapters – or even worse – plug 1 adapter into another! (seen this too!)
- Don’t take electrical appliances into the bathroom
- Remove plugs correctly from sockets – don’t pull the cable as this can damage it
- Allow access to an electrician when they come to your home to carry out electrical work or maintenance.
- There is more information on the Electrical Safety Councils website – I’ve only covered the basics here.
Before you move into new accommodation check that
- An electrical report known as an EICR has been carried out on the property confirming the electrics are safe
- Any recent electrical works are certified and carried in accordance with BS7671
- Any electrical appliances provided by the landlord have up to date PAT test stickers, have an
an instruction manual and in good working order
* Check switches, sockets and other electrical fittings for damage
Most landlords are keen to ensure you are safe in your home – as always its the small minority who make us more wary. If you in doubt, contact your local authority for help – they can take enforcement action against landlords who do not meet their legal obligations.