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Electrical safety in any home is paramount, and as a holiday let owner you have a duty of care to ensure that all electrical appliances, circuits and fixed installations within your property are safe and compliant with current regulations. By making sure that your property complies with electrical safety regulations, you’re preventing potential injury to guests that you could be liable for.
To help you safeguard your property, we’ve put together a complete guide to electrical safety regulations for holiday lets, including what they are, how to know if your holiday let is compliant with safety standards, the cost of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and much more!
Use the quick links below to find out about a particular topic, or continue reading for the full article:
As a responsible holiday let owner you can’t afford to be complacent where electrical safety is concerned.
As an owner, you are required by law to adhere to the necessary electrical safety regulations as set out in current standards as governed by the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989). The legislation laid out in the guidance states that all electrical systems in a property must be maintained to avoid danger to all who use the premises.
New regulations for all private rental landlords on electrical safety for property letting came into force on 1st June 2020. All privately rented properties must now have a valid EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) in place by 1st April 2021.
Whilst this new legislation does not currently include holiday homes, this serves as an important reminder that as a holiday let owner you are required by law to ensure that all electrical appliances, circuits and fixed installations within your holiday let are safe and are not hazardous to your guests.
At Coast & Country Cottages, we recommend that all holiday let owners have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) in place. Whilst the EICR report itself is not yet a legal requirement for holiday homes, you are legally obliged to ensure the safety and upkeep of the equipment provided, so having a qualified electrician carry out an EICR report is the best way to ensure that you are protected from liability and that your guests are safe.
An EICR is a documented account produced by a qualified and competent electrical engineer, as part of a detailed inspection of the quality of the fixed and permanently connected electrical installations in a property. This will identify if there are any hazardous faults, defects and electrical safety problems in a home.
An EICR will assess the ‘fixed’ electrical parts of the property, like the wiring, plug sockets, light fittings and consumer unit. This will include permanently connected equipment such as showers and extractors, and fixed appliances.
During the inspection, your chosen electrical engineer will check the condition of your electrical installations against the BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations (the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations) – think of it like an MOT for your home’s electrics.
Following the inspection, your chosen electrical engineer will report on any electrical works that need to be carried out in order to maintain guest safety and prevent property damage. These will be categorised into priority actions, which can help property owners decide what problem areas need rectifying first, should any issues arise.
The benefit of having an EICR is that holiday home owners will have an official certificate from a qualified professional, which they can show to tenants or their local authorities if any electrical issues arise.
Although there are currently no government regulations published for holiday let owners, click here for the government’s guide on electrical safety standards for landlords in the private sector, which further details the content of the EICR inspection.
The cost of an EICR certificate will vary. Things like the size and age of a property are the main determining factors of the price of a report. Generally, a two-to-three-bedroom house can cost between £150 – £200. The price may rise for larger homes, or older properties that may have outdated wiring which will require longer checks.
Property owners will also need to factor in the cost of any remedial work required for areas that may fail the test.
As with any home, holiday properties will be subject to wear and tear, and electrical installations are bound to deteriorate with age and regular use.
It is recommended that electrical safety tests are conducted at least every five years, but the frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. When an electrician carries our your EICR, they may advise that your property needs to be inspected more frequently, depending on its installations, age and use.
Holiday let owners have a duty of care and are required by law to ensure that all electrical appliances within the property are safe for use. As your duty of care applies to both installed and portable electrical appliances, you should also undertake regular Portable Appliance Testing (PAT).
PAT testing is the examination of electrical appliances, checking them for safety from potential defects and hazards, through a series of visual inspections and electronic tests. This applies to electrical equipment in your holiday home such as toasters, kettles, televisions or hair driers.
While there is no specification as to how often, it’s best practice to have a qualified and competent person conduct and record PAT testing on an annual basis. To show you have taken the relevant precautions to keep your home safe, ensure that there is a clear record of when the test was carried out.
Here are some pointers for improving electrical safety in your holiday home:
For more advice on electrical safety advice in homes visit:
electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk | Safety around the home
electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk | How safe is your home leaflet
At Coast & Country Cottages, we market and manage over 450 holiday homes in South Devon. With over 20 years’ experience, our locally based teams in Salcombe and Dartmouth are here to offer expert knowledge, advice and support to our owners, or to those thinking of investing in a second home in the region. That’s why we’ve put together a selection of blogs to help answer any of your queries and take the hassle our of holiday letting:
Alternatively, download our free Owners Guide for an insight into to how we could help you on your holiday letting journey.