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Electrical safety when you rent your home

Your landlord must arrange electrical safety checks every 5 years and do repairs to keep your home safe.

Your landlord’s responsibilities

Your landlord must make sure that your home’s electricity supply is safe, adequate, and in proper working order.

If you rent privately, your home must have a residual current device that turns off the electricity if there's a fault.

Your landlord must also make sure any electrical items they provide are safe to use.

Doing electrical safety checks

Your landlord must make sure electrical safety checks are done in your home. Checks should be done by a registered electrician.

Checks must be done every 5 years, or every 3 years if you live in an HMO (house of multiple occupation).

If something does not pass the check, your landlord should get it replaced or repaired immediately.

Giving you an electrical safety report

When an electrical safety check is done, your landlord gets a safety report. This is sometimes called an EICR.

When you move in, they must give you a copy of the existing report.

If safety checks are done while you're living there, your landlord must give you a copy of the report within 28 days.

If your landlord has not done electrical safety checks

Step 1: speak to your landlord informally

Ask them for a copy of the electrical safety report. It should say when checks were last done.

Step 2: if they do not give you the electrical safety report

Ask your landlord to do an electrical safety check in your home.

Use our template letter template to ask for an electrical safety check

Step 3: if your landlord will not do safety checks or repairs

Follow our guidance on:

If your home is unsafe, contact the council’s environmental health team. Tell them about the electrical hazards in your home and explain that your landlord is refusing to fix them.

Use our template letter to contact environmental health

If you rent from the council, environmental health will usually only get involved if:

Your responsibilities

Report any problems or repairs to your landlord as soon as possible. Allow access to your home for repairs.

Check for danger signs

These include:

  • fuses that blow often

  • cables or wires that are loose, exposed or fraying

  • a smell of burning when appliances are switched on

  • plugs or wall sockets that are overheating, scorched or cracked

If you own an electrical appliances that might not be safe, you should get an electrical safety check done. Make sure this is done by an NICEIC registered contractor.

Electrical Safety First has guidance on electrical safety in your home

Last updated: 1 March 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England