Electrical Safety for Landlords
Private Landlord are on the up. There is no sign of a slow down. However Electrical Safety for Landlords is an area posing lots of questions.
Many questions are based around complying with standards and laws. Other questions are purely technical. Then there are moral issues. Some things are not strictly “law”. But should they be done by the landlord or not?
Also how far should a Landlord go himself? What impact does this have? Should Electrical Safety involve a competent Electrician in all cases? Or should not be the case? Should a DIY Landlord have a go? Should a labourer get involved? Or a compromise of all the above? Then how does this affect liability?
So on the theme of Electrical Safety for Landlords. Here are some comments:
Why is it my responsibility?
If you sell a car that you know is faulty, how do you feel when someone takes over it? Do you feel they are responsible from now on. Or do you feel that you should have fixed that fault before selling it? Moral’s and opinion’s vary on this, but in general the law would expect you to ensure you did everything “reasonably practical” to ensure the safety of that person. This example applies to a tenant (check resources like this). Not just structural safety. Also electrical safety and appliances that are provided. Is it worth the small investment to prove that you ensured the safety of the Tenant? How do you view this?
How do I prove I have done everything “reasonably practicable”?
You can implement certain basic checks yourself (usually Visual checks). If you document these checks then will contribute as proof. However you can get official certification or reports. These are from competent persons (such as Electricians). These are issued by a registered assessor/tester. This means that they can be traced to set minimum standards (assuming genuinely accredited!). With certificates/reports, this takes liability away from you. Electrical Safety for Landlords is generally handled this way (i.e. outsourced to a competent person).
It costs too much!
Do shop around when it comes to using someone else’s service. HOWEVER please note that a professional (versus a newcomer) will never lower their price. This is because they offer value in their ability to do the job right. They have the knowledge and experience. They will also have additional overheads (insurances, better equipment) and so have to charge more for it. Of course they will also take longer as the work will be more thorough. So the obvious giveaways are too cheap, or too fast!