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Annual Electrical Visual Inspection – HMO & Buy to Let Landlords

This web page gives the Judge Electrical opinion on what an HMO or ’buy to let’ landlord should check during an annual electrical visual inspection.


Most UK local authorities consider an HMO landlord, or agent, a ‘competent person’ for an annual visual inspection but not a ‘competent person’ to carry out a ‘full inspection’. A qualified electrician should carry out a’ full inspection’.


Record the date, time and results of the annual visual inspection.

An annual visual inspection should check, as a minimum:

  • Electrical leads – not damaged or frayed.
  • Electrical leads – not repaired, replace if damaged.
  • Electrical leads – not hidden from view, for instance under a carpet or rug. Damage will not be noticed.
  • Electrical leads – positioned so they are not damaged by heat, for instance behind a kettle or near a cooker. Electrical leads position advice.
  • Electrical appliances – working?
  • Tenants are not ‘daisy-chaining’ electrical adaptors, for instance connecting one 4-way adaptor into another 4-way adaptor.
  • Electrical outlets (plugs and sockets) – no discolouring or burn marks.
  • Electrical outlets (plugs and sockets) – check that not too many appliances are plugged into one outlet.
  • Electrical plugs – not cracked or damaged.
  • Electrical plugs – the grip is holding the cable.
  • Electrical plugs – no bare wires visible where the cable enters the plug.
  • Light sockets – securely fitted, no discolouring or burn marks.
  • Light switches – secured OK, no discolouring or burn marks.
  • Bathrooms – electrical outlets at least 3 metres from the edge of a bath or shower cubicle.
  • Bathrooms – electric heaters and boilers – fixed, permanently wired to a wall (NOT free standing or portable).
  • Bathrooms – electric heaters should be more than 0.6 metres from the shower or bath.
  • Ask tenants whether the same bulb or fuse is blowing or the same RCD needs resetting – this suggests a problem with the electrical circuit.
  • Extension cables – fully unwound to prevent overheating.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix – for instance flower vase on TV or other electrical appliance.

Use your common sense – if it looks wrong it probably is.


Judge Electrical Limited
15 Mulberry Court, Huntington, York, YO32 9TU
Telephone 01904 764845 (Landline), 07919 033113 Mobile)
Email info@judgeelectrical.co.uk
VAT No. 852917405. Company Number 6359328