There are two Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords regarding the safety of electrical equipment:
1. The Consumer Protection Act 1987
2. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
The Consumer Protection Act affects all persons who let property in the course of their business because it defines them as “suppliers”, i.e. they are supplying goods to the tenant. There are several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including:
1. The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989
2. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
3. The General Product Safety Regulations 1994
4. The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations impose a duty on landlords to ensure that all electrical equipment supplied by them is safe for use by the tenant. The Consumer Protection Act provides a defence of ‘due diligence’, whereby a landlord can defend a contravention of the Act if he can demonstrate that he took reasonable steps to avoid committing the offence. The Health and Safety at Work Act places a duty of care upon both employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This definition would appear to apply to landlords and agents; similarly, tenants would appear to be a group of persons affected by the landlord’s operations. This tends to suggest that electrical regulations, which are ostensibly directed at employers and the work place, are equally applicable to landlords, their premises and their tenants. In summary, a landlord has duties both as a ‘supplier of goods’ and as the ‘person responsible’ for an electrical installation. As a ‘supplier of goods’ he must ensure that goods are checked before the tenant takes them over and as a ‘person responsible’ he must ensure an adequate system of maintenance. A regular inspection programme is an essential part of any maintenance system.
We can currently undertake Electric periodic checks and PAT testing Nationwide via our Green Surveyor ® brand.