There are differences between tenants rights as regards gas and electricity which is often confusing. Here are five points to help you.
1. There is no equivalent to the gas regulations certificates
Under the gas regulations all landlords are obliged to get an annual certificate and give it to their tenants. There is nothing equivalent for electricity, save for
2. Special rules for HMO properties
There are management regulations that apply to all HMO properties (not just those which need a license) and these require an electrical inspection to be done every five years.
The inspection must be done by a qualified electrician and a certificate obtained. The HMO Manager must not do anything to interfere with the supply of electricity.
3. The landlords repairing covenants apply
All landlords of tenancies with a fixed term of less than seven years are bound by the landlords statutory repairing obligations. These are set out in s11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and say that the landlord has:
to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity
The words ‘installations for the supply’ means the electrical wiring.
4. There are also product safety regulations
In particular the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
These all basically mean that landlords are under a legal obligation to make sure that all electrical equipment is safe.
5. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System hazards (HHSRS)
Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have a responsibility to enforce safety standards in residential properties in their area. When carrying out an inspection they will assess the property against 29 hazards – these include electrical hazards
Note that these are all enforced in different ways:
- The HMO regulations are enforced by Local Authorities
- The statutory repairing obligations are generally enforced thorugh the courts, they are fairly complex procedures so you will normally need a solicitor
- The product safety regulations are enforced by Local Authority trading standards officers
- The HHSRS inspections are done by Local Authority Environmental Health Officers.
If you want to contact your Local Authority for help with any of these, you can find contact details via our Local Authority Directory. You will find more help for tenants on my main Landlord Law site.