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HMO Landlord – Electrical Help and Advice (UK)

This web page gives electrical help and advice for UK 'HMO' 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 HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) 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 and 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

Annually – annual visual inspection.


One to five yearly – electrical test and inspection by a qualified electrician – time period depends on the age of the wiring, usage and the state of the fixed electrical installation.


In-between lets – electrical test and inspection by a qualified electrician.

Electrical Inspection Period Considerations

The HMO 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.


An unsafe electrical appliance or installation has, potentially, more effect in an HMO with 20 tenants than in an HMO with 10 tenants.


Short-term HMO 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

  • Any 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 HMO 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’ checks the fixed wiring of a house, electrical and light sockets and the earthing.


Guideline Prices

Judge Electrical guideline ‘electrical test and inspection’ prices:

  • One bedroom flat – £150.
  • Two bedroom house – £175.
  • Three bedroom house – £190.
  • Four bedroom house – £210.


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