What Can You Do about Electrical Problems in Your Rented Home?

If you ever find that some (or all!) of your lights flicker every so often or you detect a faint hum coming from your electrical outlets, you may be having electrical issues. This is something that is a serious cause for concern as it is a hazardous home disrepair issue that needs to be addressed right away. 

More than 8,000 fires in the UK are caused by faulty electrical equipment and wiring – some of these from defective appliances, and some from power overload issues (of which extension cords with multiple slots are a common culprit). Attempting to fix the problems yourself might result in you being electrocuted or worse, inadvertently setting your home on fire. Only certified electricians must fix electrical issues in your home.  

However, there are several things that you can do to ensure your rented home is safe from electrical problems. 

First of all, you need to request for a safety inspection to be completed before you move in. The moment that you notice an issue, let your landlord know about it. They and a qualified electrician must be allowed to enter, inspect the property, and make any necessary repairs. If your tenancy agreement started on June 1st 2020, your landlord should have provided you with a copy of a report that the electrician submitted after inspecting and testing the electrical installations in your home.

It is your landlord’s responsibility to keep your electric equipment secure in order to prevent accidents. Private landlords in England are required to have their wirings checked and tested by a professional electrician before allowing their tenants to move in. The inspection, called the Electrical Safety Check, needs to happen every five years, with the inspector providing an electrical installation condition report (EICR) after the checkup. 

You should also test the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month. Additionally, your landlord must do their regular property inspections and ensure the furniture, fixtures, and appliances that came free with the property are fire-resistant. However, if you brought the furniture with you when you moved in, these will be your responsibility. 

There is a little bit of a grey area  between the landlord’s and the tenant’s responsibilities in this regard. Both will need to work together to maintain a safe and secure home by regularly doing checkups, maintaining the upkeep of the property, and clearly communicating with one another on when and how to address disrepair issues.

You and the landlord need to be on the lookout for signs of electrical issues so you can take precautions. Unless you caused the problems yourself, it is ultimately your landlord’s job to ensure the rented home is safe from electrical problems and any fire hazards. 

If you find electrical issues, take action right away. Do not panic if your power shuts down. Your box could be overloaded, or it could just be a momentary power shutdown. Upon checking, if you find out that your unit is the only one affected, report the incident to your landlord immediately. Again, do not attempt to troubleshoot it yourself, as you might be accountable if further damage occurs, along with potentially injuring yourself.

You should replace a busted bulb yourself as this, and other minor repairs and fixes, are your responsibility. If you have been trying to get through to your landlord yet he does not want to fix the defects in your electricity system or does not respond at all, you can always forward your complaints to the private housing team or your council’s environment health team. The letting agency might also be able to help. 

Renting from a council or housing association may often be  advantageous as they are expected to provide you with a home that is fit for human habitation; one that is safe and secure. So, if you ask for their help to mend the wirings it is their obligation to act on your request immediately. This is one of your tenant rights.

Making a claim against your landlord or housing association for leaving you with electrical issues is something that you must strongly consider. If the disrepair in your home is causing you some trauma and stress, then it is definitely a good idea to seek legal assistance. It is your right to file for a housing disrepair claim against your landlord.

The process can be quite challenging, but there are housing disrepair compensation experts that can help you claim for compensation and have all electrical issues in your flat repaired. Contact DisrepairClaim.co.uk and free yourself from the risks of fire and damage.

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