As a landlord of a HMO or a student living in one there are certain responsibilities that need to be upheld to make sure that the home is safe from the risk of electrical faults and fires. In this blog we have highlighted how this is possible!

Landlords – your electrical safety obligations

Companies such as Electrical safety first has found that landlords are exposing themselves to significant financial risks, from fines and invalidated insurance, though not acting on their electrical safety obligations.

Landlords are also putting millions of UK private tenants at risk of serious accident or fire. We have clarified your obligations for electrical safety in rental properties and provide a range of resources to help you keep your tenants safe.

Your responsibilities as a landlord

Landlords are required by law to ensure:

That the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration.

That a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has a periodic inspection carried out on the property every five years.

If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, we recommend that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at least every five years.

That any appliance provided is safe and has at least the CE marking (which is the manufacturer’s claim that it meets all the requirements of European law).

To meet these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.

MCL recommends…

1.That a visual inspection of the property is conducted between tenancies

2.Making sure that your property has adequate RCD protection

3.Using a registered electrician or service technician for any work on your property

4.Carrying out regular safety checks on the electrical appliances provided as part of the rental agreement

For Students:

Surviving university isn’t always easy!

As well as adjusting to new living arrangements, you’ll be meeting lots of people while trying to manage your own finances. You’ll also need to ensure that you’re staying safe in your accommodation, as there are many hazards that you may not be aware of.

See below for our tips and tricks!

  • Do make sure your landlord hasn’t overloaded any sockets or extension leads prior to your arrival. This could cause overheating and even a fire, so make sure you check how the appliances supplied with the property are set up when you first move in.
  • Do ensure that your property is fitted with a working smoke alarm. Test the alarm upon arrival in your house and again at regular intervals throughout the year.
  • Don’t carry out any electrical work in the property yourself, even if your landlord asks you to. Fixing electrical problems is the landlord’s responsibility and they should employ a registered electrician to undertake all electrical work.
  • Do make sure your landlord or fellow housemates do not store anything on top of your microwave as they can cause it to overheat.
  • Don’t cook when drunk – Although it may seem like a great idea to cook a fry up when you get in from a night out, DON’T. Your usual safety-conscious brain is likely to have been numbed with alcohol and your response rate will be a lot slower. This means you are more at risk of leaving ovens and hobs unattended as well as suffering burns.
  • Do check that all appliances supplied with the property are in proper working order and do not bear any signs of damage or age. Things to look out for include cuts or abrasions to the cable, non-standard plugs, loose parts or screws and signs of overheating or burning.
  • Ask your landlord for Certification confirming that any recent electrical work meets the UK national standards BS 7671


Print a copy of this out and keep it somewhere handy in case you need it one day! You can also contact MCL about making sure your home is fire protected before renting out on 028 9030 1752