Having tenants that feel at home is one of the most rewarding parts of being a landlord. With that being said, there are some electrical safety requirements you need to adhere to if you want to keep your tenants safe and happy. Here’s a list of some of the more important safety requirements you should be meeting when it comes to your buildings and rental units.
- Safety first
This point should come as no surprise. When it comes to rental units (new or old) safety should always be your first priority. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need the most advanced wiring systems or most expensive plugs and sockets. It just means that all your appliances, wiring, sockets, outlets, lights and fittings need to be in perfect working order before a tenant can move in. We offer complete residential electrical inspections that can help confirm if all the electrical aspects of your rental units are safe and in working order.
- Professional installations
This point ties in with point number 1. As a landlord, you need to ensure that all your installations and electrical work is carried out by licensed, professional electricians. This will ensure greater levels of safety with your electrics, and it will also ensure that you won’t need to look into rewiring, replacing, or upgrading your electrics in the coming future.
- Power outlets
There’s nothing worse than a beautiful rental unit that doesn’t have enough power outlets. If a tenant is forced to use extension cords and multiple power outlet adapters it can be frustrating, annoying, and it can add to the reasons why a tenant may look to move to a different rental option. Equipping each room with enough power outlets means that tenants don’t need to use extension cords or adapters (which can increase safety hazards, especially with higher voltage kitchen and home appliances). Thankfully, power outlet installations can be done by most professional electricians in a relatively short amount of time. If you’ve noticed your tenants complaining about not having enough power outlets, speak to us today about getting some more power outlets installed in your rental units.
- Periodic safety inspections
We’ve mentioned that safety should always come first when it comes to the electrical requirements in your rental units. While performing an initial inspection ensures that all the electrical outlets, lights and appliances are working properly before the tenants move in, having routine electrical inspections will ensure that electrical appliances, components, wiring, etc, will remain in working condition during the entirety of the tenants stay. Unless there is an emergency event, most electrical inspections can be carried out once every 5 years.
- Correct wattage bulbs
It’s incredibly frustrating moving into a new place only to have the lights blow out after a couple of days. This can be avoided when you install bulbs with the correct wattage. Having bulbs with the correct wattage installed also means that you’ll be able to avoid potential safety hazards like electrical fires, which can happen when a bulb blows out.
- Safe installations of all appliances
If you’re furnishing your units before renting them out, you’ll need to ensure that all electrical appliances are hooked up and plugged in safely. When you run two or more power-heavy appliances out of the same outlet, you risk running into issues like overheating, surging, and electrical fires. Make sure each appliance is receiving enough power from its outlet (this ties in with the earlier point of ensuring that the unit has enough power outlets in each room).
- Smoke detectors
If you own a multi-unit or multi-family rental property, you and the other tenants need to be alerted as soon as possible when a fire breaks out. Smoke alarms throughout the property and units will ensure that tenants get as early a warning as possible should the worst happen. And remember to routinely check their batteries (if you’re using battery powered units) to ensure that they’re always on.
- Ensure proper certification
Unfortunately there isn’t a single electrical safety certification that you can attain that proves you’ve complied with each legal requirement for your electrics. We recommend that you keep records of the following certifications for each of your properties and update them accordingly:
- PAT certificates.
- Electrical Condition Reports (ElCR) certificates.
- Certificates for any fire alarm systems, including for when they are first installed as well as for any modifications, inspections or services.
- Certificates for any emergency lighting systems, including for when they are first installed and for any inspections or services.
- A Building Regulations compliance certificate for new installations.
- An Electrical Installations Certificate (EIC) or Minor Electrical Installations Works Certificate (MEIWC) that shows the installation was installed to a satisfactory standard of safety.
- Immediate Attention
Electrical damages or repairs might not seem like pressing issues, but they can lead to serious health and property hazards. As a landlord, you’re required to attend to electrical issues and complaints in an immediate and timely manner. If tenants complain about wiring issues, funny smells coming from outlets, or power outages, have a professional electrician look into them right away.
- Professional repairs
In the case that your units do need electrical repairs done, you’re required to use a licensed and insured electrician. While small repairs may be tempting to do them yourself, without the assistance of a licensed electrician, your repairs may end up being dangerous. Whenever you need to do electrical repairs, always make sure you’re using a licensed and insured electrician.
Providing homes for people to live in while being able to enjoy another stream of income is one of the beauties of being a landlord. With that being said, you do need to comply with electrical safety regulations and requirements if you plan on keeping your tenants safe and happy in your property.
If you need to do a routine electrical inspection, install more outlets or rework some old wiring, get in touch with a Reno electrician with a demonstrated history of customer satisfaction and high-quality workmanship. Call us at (775) 291-2511 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get in touch with you.