August 3, 2023

Does A Commercial Landlord Have To Provide An Electrical Safety Certificate?

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Commercial property owners are bound to follow various rules and regulations specifically formulated for the safety of the occupants. These regulations include the safety of people against any potential risks associated with the energy resources such as gas and electricity.

Commercial property owners are bound to follow various rules and regulations specifically formulated for the safety of the occupants. These regulations include the safety of people against any potential risks associated with the energy resources such as gas and electricity.

Accordingly, a commercial landlord must get his property inspected periodically for all gas and electric installations, fittings, and appliances. The purpose of this inspection is to identify the faults and defects in them. The inspecting engineer can then issue the relevant certificate, which a commercial landlord has to produce to the tenants or display at a prominent place in the building, as the case may be.

Various types of certificates are required for a commercial building, including the electrical safety certificate.

Understanding Electrical Safety Certificate

An electrical safety certificate is a legal document indicating that the electrical installations, fittings, and wiring comply with the prescribed standards and are safe for use. It further means that the property is fit for human inhabitation.

A qualified electrician is authorized to inspect your property and if all the parameters are met, he can issue the required electrical safety certificate. For commercial properties, this certificate is valid for five years.

The cost of electrical safety certificates in the UK is variable just like the gas safety certificate cost. It may cost you anything above £ 150, including the repair cost of any faulty installations.

Rules And Regulations

Different laws govern the use of electricity and electrical installations in commercial buildings in the UK. Let's have a quick look at them.

  • Occupiers’ liability act 1957 – It deals with the responsibilities of a commercial landlord toward the safety of the occupants and visitors. Commercial landlords are therefore responsible for ensuring the safety of anyone on their property against all possible risks, including electrical installations and equipment.
  • Occupiers’ liability act 1984 – Similar to the Occupiers' liability act 1957, this act also bounds the commercial landlord to ensure that anyone who visits or occupies the property, whether a tenant or an occasional visitor, must remain safe against any possible risk, including electrical hazards.
  • Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 – It is a comprehensive legislation that specifies the roles and responsibilities of both the Landlord and the Tenant of a commercial property. Subclauses a) and b) of section 8 of this act is specifically relevant to the electrical safety of a commercial building. These clauses bound a commercial landlord to ensure that the electrical installations must be safe for human occupation at the start of the tenancy. It further bounds him to ensure regular electrical installations and wiring maintenance.

In case of any mishap on your property related to electrical installations that may cause injury or loss of life, you may face legal proceedings regarding the Occupiers’ liability acts of 1957 and 1984.

Is A Commercial Landlord Bound To Have An Electrical Safety Certificate?

Under the relevant rules and regulations, as discussed above, a commercial landlord is legally bound to get an electrical safety certificate after a complete inspection of all the electrical installations, wiring, and appliances. He is also bound to keep it updated periodically. Failure to do so may face legal consequences, especially in case of any mishap.

When entering a tenancy contract, a commercial landlord must also produce this certificate to a new tenant. For the current tenants, he must provide a copy of this certificate to them within four weeks of its issuance.

Important Points To Remember

Here are some important points relevant to the electrical safety inspection.

  • Re-wiring – if the inspection reveals that some parts of the electrical installations are faulty or damaged and need replacement or re-wiring, it is the responsibility of the commercial landlord to carry out such work instantly. However, he must ensure the safety of the occupants during this work. Also, he must ensure that their business or routine work is not hampered. This is his legal obligation per the laws mentioned above.
  • EICR EICR stands for "Electrical Installation Condition Report.” Although it is not a legal requirement to get EICR for a commercial property, getting one for your building is highly recommended. A qualified electrician can do this. He will identify any defects that need to be rectified. It will help you comply with the relevant laws while renting your property.

Conclusion

The landlord's responsibility is to protect the occupants of a commercial property. Various laws and regulations bound him to do so. Likewise, safety against electrical hazards is also his responsibility. He is legally bound to get his property inspected by a qualified electrician to ensure that all the electrical installations and wiring are in perfect condition and does not pose any risk to the occupants. An electrical safety certificate is therefore a must-have item for a commercial landlord.

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