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Buy to Let Landlord – Electrical Help and Advice (UK)

This web page gives electrical help and advice for UK 'buy to let' landlords.


Topics covered:

  • UK laws and regulations.
  • Interpretation of England and Wales laws and regulations.
  • Electrical inspection periods.
  • Electrical inspection period considerations.
  • Who should do an electrical inspection.
  • Annual visual inspection.
  • Electrical test and inspection.
  • Guideline prices.

UK Laws And Regulations

There are many laws and regulations that affect the UK ‘buy to let’ landlord.


The requirements of the UK electrical laws and regulations can be summarised as:

The most relevant laws and regulations that affect England and Wales are:

  • Part P’ building regulations (Electrical Safety in Dwellings).
  • Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
  • The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994.
  • Various ‘Health and Safety Executive’ regulations.

Interpretation Of England And Wales Laws And Regulations

  • Laws and regulations are written to be ‘time in-sensitive’, they have different meanings at different points in time.
  • Definition of the term ‘reasonable’ changes over time, what was reasonable last year may not be reasonable this year.
  • The landlord is responsible for all of the fixed wiring, lighting circuits, electrical sockets within a property. A property includes the grounds, for instance sheds and garages.
  • The landlord is responsible for all ‘non-movable’ electrical installations.
  • The landlord is responsible for all electrical appliances that come with the property, for instance cookers, microwave ovens and free-standing lamps.
  • If a landlord knows that the occupants use unsafe electrical appliances the landlord should take action even if the appliance is owned by the tenant. The key here is the landlord knows that the property is electrically unsafe, ‘if the landlord knows the landlord should act’.

Electrical Inspection Periods

Electrical Inspection Period Considerations

The ‘buy to let’ inspection period depends on the age of the wiring, use of the property and the condition of the electrical installation.


The landlord should consider:

  • The age and condition of the electrical installation – wiring and fixed appliances.
  • How likely the electrical appliances and circuits are to become unsafe.
  • The effect of an unsafe electrical appliance or circuit.
  • How likely are tenants to report electrical problems.

New appliances are less likely to become unsafe than old electrical appliances.


Short-term tenants are less likely to report electrical problems than long-term tenants.


The landlord should consider what is necessary to show that they have ‘taken all reasonable steps to ensure the property is electrically safe’.

Who Should Do An Electrical Inspection

  • An electrical inspection must be done by a ‘competent person’. The purpose of an electrical inspection defines who is a ‘competent person’.
  • Annual visual inspection – Most UK local authorities consider an ‘buy to let’ landlord, or agent, a ‘competent person’ for an annual visual inspection.
  • Electrical test and inspection – a qualified electrician.

Annual Visual Inspection

The annual visual inspection should check for ‘obvious’ electrical safety hazards. Landlords should think ‘what would I allow in my own home?


Electrical Test And Inspection

The electrical test and inspection will check the fixed wiring of a house, electrical and light sockets and the earthing.


Guideline Prices

The Judge Electrical 2015 guideline ‘electrical test and inspection’ prices:

  • One bedroom flat – £170.
  • Two bedroom house – £200.
  • Three bedroom house – £210.
  • Four bedroom house – £230.

Actual Job Prices – real life examples of Judge Electrical (York) prices. A selection of prices of different electrical jobs.

Please contact Judge Electrical for free advice.


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