Every electrical installation deteriorates with use and age. You need to ensure that your tenant(s) – or anyone entering or using your property – are not put at risk, by ensuring that the electrical installation remains in a safe and serviceable condition.
A periodic inspection checks the condition of an existing electrical installation against BS 7671, the UK Standard for the safety of electrical installations. A periodic inspection should:
- Discover if electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded
- Identify potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards
- Find any defective electrical work
- Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding
How frequently should an electrical installation be inspected?
For rented accommodation, the maximum period recommended between the initial inspection (when the installation was first put into service) and the first periodic inspection and test is five years.
Periods between subsequent inspections will depend on the condition of the installation at the time of the preceding inspection, but it is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at least every five years or at the end of a tenancy, whichever comes first.
Where a change of tenancy occurs after a short period (for example less than six months) a full periodic inspection and test may not always be needed. In such cases, the landlord or their representative should always carry out a visual check to confirm that the property is safe to re-let.
What about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 require that every electrical installation in an HMO is inspected and tested at least every five years by a suitably qualified person, who should provide a certificate giving the results of the inspection.