Unlike the gas safety legislation, there is currently* (*see below) no legislation which states that a landlord has is a legal duty to arrange for an annual electrical test to be carrried out.
However, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1975, The Housing Act 2004 (in particular the HHSRS), Part P of the Building Regulations (England and Wales), The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1978 and the Defective Premises Act 1972, a landlord is obligated to ensure that a rental property is safe, and will be liable legally if a tenant is injured or their personal belongings damaged due to a defect in the electrical systems or appliances within a property.
In general terms, a landlord is required to ensure that all electrical installations and portable appliances (appliances with a plug) must be:
2) In good working order
3) In good repair
4) To current standards
Legislation Update 2018
Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 measures are being introduced to make it a legal requirement for landlords to carry out:
1) A fixed wire test (also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report) every 5 years
2) A visual condition report on an annual basis/every change of tenancy
3) An annual PAT test
As yet, there is no confirmed date for the implementation of these legal requirements. As an agency, SWR:
1) Arrange annual PAT testing on all managed properties
2) Carry out a basic visual inspection of electrical installations on check in of tenants
3) Are rolling out a fixed wire testing schedule across all managed properties in 2018 in readiness for the new legislation.