With more than 20,000 fires in homes in the UK caused by electrical appliances, the need for electrical safety in residential buildings is vital.
To help landlords and letting agents get started on preserving the safety of tenants in the communal areas of their residential lettings, here’s our guide to maintaining electrical safety.
What does the law demand?
Landlords are responsible for ensuring residents and visitors are in a safe space, including protecting them from electrical faults and fires caused by a fault.
Electrical safety in rented properties is covered by several laws. Most recently, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 require landlords to:
- Ensure that all electrical safety standards are complied with during any period in which the residential premises are occupied under a tenancy
- Ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested regularly by a qualified person. This is every five years unless an inspection specifies a shorter period.
- Provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants and local authority if requested
Landlords who don’t comply with government standards will find themselves held accountable and subject to substantial fines.
What is a communal area?
When considering electrical safety in communal areas, landlords need to think in broad terms about what those communal areas include:
- Entrance halls
- Kitchens and bathrooms
- Parking areas
- Parking areas
This means inside and outside spaces with electrical facilities must be maintained equally conscientiously.
What steps can landlords take to ensure electrical safety?
Firstly, be aware of what’s happening in your building by walking through it regularly and looking for changes, such as broken equipment or loose sockets.
- Conduct regular risk assessments, identifying hazards, and broken or faulty electrical equipment, including items such as emergency lighting and sockets.
- Remove, fix or replace broken or faulty equipment as soon as possible.
- Keep records of all actions taken regarding electrical safety.
Fire is a significant risk from electrical faults, so being prepared is also essential, which means:
- Putting systems in place to check regular fire safety procedures
- Compliance with current fire safety regulations, making sure that the suitable alarms, equipment, evacuation procedures and signage are in place to deal with fire emergencies
- Check that fire doors are working correctly and aren’t wedged open.
- Ensure that communal areas aren’t obstructed or used as storage areas and that evacuation routes are clear.
All of this takes time and effort, but, as for all safety issues, prevention is better than cure; it’s crucial to be proactive when managing potential hazards.
Maintaining up-to-date records means regularly reviewing electrical safety, but it will help you should you need to make an insurance claim.
Do you need help keeping on top of block management?
Maintaining electrical safety in communal areas isn’t just about preventing electrical shocks but also minimising fire risk from faulty wiring or appliances.
When inspecting communal areas, you must understand these risks and that risk assessments reflect the level of due diligence needed to address potential hazards. This means regular and comprehensive block inspections.
As a landlord or letting agent, it can be challenging to find the time to keep on top of regular inspections, but at No Letting Go, our estate and block management services provide a comprehensive solution to maintaining safety standards, with inspections conducted at intervals agreed with the landlord to include:
- Fire and Safety
- Fire Assets
- Communal areas
- Estate and block cleanliness and condition
We can also produce bespoke reports to meet a landlord’s specific property or tenancy needs.
If you would like to contact us
No Letting Go – partnering with landlords to keep rental properties safe
At No Letting Go, we pride ourselves on the service we provide to our customers. If you would like to discuss how we can help maintain safety in all spaces of your residential premises, our expert team is ready to offer support and advise you so that tenants and visitors can feel safe in your properties.
Our local support and national networks can also help streamline costs and reduce your workload by running inspection schedules, recording inventories and providing professional advice.
To learn more about our services for landlords and agents, contact No Letting Go today.
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