I’m a landlord. What do I need to know about fixed wire electrical testing?

Whether in the context of the present rental market or looking to the future, the separation between a good and great landlord – and the money they make respectively – lies in their ability to cleverly invest money in their properties.

94% of UK landlords let as an individual, according to a 2018 government-led survey. Their average income from their property or properties? £15,000. For most, that figure makes up over half their total income. Despite what many think, this shines a light on the fact that many landlords make a modest profit from their properties, making an investment in their maintenance and improvement all the more important.

The electricals and wiring of a property are one of the most important areas that landlords need to maintain and improve. It adds value and avoids the danger of injury and damage to a property in the process, but only if you as a landlord understand when and how to have your wiring tested and, if needed, altered.

What exactly is fixed wire testing?

It’s all about your electrical systems and appliances. As far as the service that electricians provide is concerned, fixed wire electrical tests cover the examination and inspection of any electrical circuits in a building. That covers about what you’d expect; socket outlets, miscellaneous circuits and distribution boards, for instance.

When they’re called in to perform this kind of testing, your electrician will perform both a visual inspection and physical testing. This usually involves isolating and turning off all of a building’s electrics, or a portion if possible. The rate of inspection recommended and required by law varies depending on the purpose of the building. For private properties rented out by landlords (domestic properties), it’s needed every five years.

What does the law say? What do I need to know as a landlord?

As we just mentioned, it’s most important to know that you need your electricals tested every five years at a minimum. Generally speaking and in the experience of providers of fixed wire electrical testing, however, it’s recommended to do it more often than that. You’ll also need to make sure that your tester is a certified electrician. After your testing is done, you should also receive a certificate of the testing that has occurred.

As a landlord, you’ll also need to make sure that your property is safe electrically when any new tenant moves in. This is governed by section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985. Under this law, it’s required for any landlord to maintain, repair and ensure the safety of the electrical wiring of their properties.

Do I really need to do it every year?

By law? No. But is it best practice? You better believe it. This is where you can separate yourself from the competition. The secret to that truth lies in the fact that, when they test your electricals, your electrician will recommend what to keep, what to replace and what to upgrade. This often covers energy-saving products and appliances which can contribute to significant savings and reductions in your maintenance costs.

Because of that, it’s an investment and not a chore that drains your wallet. All you have to do is to Google energy-saving benefits yourself; you’ll quickly find many stories of hundreds and thousands of Pounds saved by smart property owners who listened to their electricians and upgraded their electricals. It is a legitimate money saver that also ensures you’ll never fall foul of legal requirements – and the fines and dangers that come with that.

And there you have it.
While we appreciate that success is often found in the margins for landlords, we’d feel guilty if we didn’t describe the benefits of a solid fixed wire testing schedule. It covers your compliance requirements, keeps you and your tenants safe from legal issues and dangerous faults respectively and it’s even an opportunity for you to excel as a landlord by improving your properties.

You can add real value to your homes with the right investment and it’s no secret to anyone that the quality of a property is directly linked to the money you can make off of it. We hope you found this article interesting! It’s something to think about and, in the experience of certified electricians across the country, it’s a worthy thing to be proactive about and to invest your profits back into. Do it yourself and see just how it improves your business. Your tenants will be happy, your wallet will be comfortable and you’ll be ahead of your legal compliance requirements every year. Great stuff.

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