Property Management Guide: Electrical Faults In Rented Property

Property Management Guide: Electrical Issues and Power Outages What Is A Power Outage and Electrical Is

Welcome to our Property Management Guide, where we delve into the critical realm of electrical faults in rented properties. From power outages to common issues affecting tenants and landlords, this comprehensive guide aims to equip property managers with the knowledge needed to navigate and address electrical challenges effectively. Discover the causes, remedies, legal considerations, and the importance of Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) in ensuring a safe and compliant electrical environment. Let’s empower property managers to foster a secure and efficient living space for their tenants.

What Is A Power Outage and Electrical Faults In The Property?

A power outage refers to the loss of electrical power in a specific area, affecting homes, businesses, or entire communities. This can be caused by various factors, including severe weather conditions (such as storms, hurricanes, or lightning), equipment failures, overloading of the electrical grid, accidents, or intentional actions.


Electrical Faults


Electrical faults in a rented property can range from minor disruptions to serious problems that pose safety hazards. Some common electrical faults include:

Power Surges:

Sudden increases in electrical voltage can damage electronic devices and appliances. Power surges can result from lightning strikes, faulty wiring, or issues with the power grid.

Outlets Not Working:

Individual outlets or entire circuits may stop functioning due to problems like tripped circuit breakers, faulty outlets, or issues with the wiring.

Flickering Lights:

Fluctuations in voltage can cause lights to flicker. This may be due to problems within the home’s electrical system or issues with the external power supply.

Tripped Circuit Breakers:

Circuit breakers are designed to trip when there is an overload or a short circuit, preventing electrical fires. If a circuit breaker trips frequently, it may indicate an underlying issue.

Electrical Fires:

Faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or damaged electrical appliances can lead to electrical fires. It is crucial to address any signs of electrical problems promptly to reduce the risk of fire.

Electrical Shocks:

Faulty wiring or malfunctioning appliances can pose a risk of electric shock. It is essential to address these issues to ensure the safety of the property’s occupants.

Dimming Lights:

If lights dim when certain appliances are turned on, it may indicate an overloaded circuit or an issue with the electrical system.

It is also possible that only your property in the area is experiencing a power outage. In this case, your property’s electrical system i.e wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, and short-circuiting appliances are to blame.
A malfunctioning electric appliance or damaged wiring in the electrical system in your home can cause short circuits that can result in fires. Therefore, it is necessary to rule out any serious issues in your property’s electrical system.

Where Does It Occur In The Property?

A power outage affects the whole residential property either due to power cuts or a glitch in the property’s electrical system. However, faulty electrical appliances can cause power outages in different areas of the property such as:
  • Bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Drawing rooms
  • Lofts
  • TV lounges
  • Garages
  • Gardens
  • Laundry rooms
 The following electrical appliances and power distribution accessories in your home can also cause a full or partial power outage or different electrical faults.
  • Lights
  • Bulbs
  • Hairdryers
  • Irons
  • Microwaves
  • Washing machines
  • Tumble dryers
  • Freezers and fridges
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Fans
  • Circuit breakers
  • Switches
  • Electric wirings

What Are The Causes?

You must not take the electrical issues lightly and diagnose the real problem to avoid any damage. Some of the common causes of power outages and electrical issues are:
  • A distribution network issue or weather conditions such as heat, ice, high winds, flying debris, and snow cause a complete power outage in the area.
  • An individual residential power outage occurs when electric appliances such as hairdryers and vacuum cleaners damage or trip the circuit breakers by overloading them. RCDs receptacles, wiring issues, and faulty circuits breakers/fuses also cause partial and full power outages in the home.
  • Dimmer switches are often the culprits for dim or flickering lights.
  • Poor wiring and cheap quality bulbs often cause them to burn themselves out.
  • Electrical switches and the associated wiring can cause shocks and are common signs of an electrical problem in the home.
  • Faulty appliances, switches, and wiring’s plastic insulations produce a burning smell that indicates an electrical issue.
  • If an electric appliance is not hooked up to the switch tightly, it can cause short circuits and electrical wiring damage.

What Are The Remedies Available?

Small electrical issues can topple your budget by damaging the circuit breakers, fraying electric appliances, and fires. It is best to prevent these issues from happening by making use of the following remedies.
  • Repair or replace the electric devices that cause electric shocks, develop fishy smells or cause frayed switches.
  • Flickering lights or lights burning out suggests poor wiring connectivity or a damaged dimmer. Replace it as soon as possible.
  • Repair or replace the electric appliances that are getting too hot while operating.
  • Locate the faulty circuit breaker and fix the electric appliances or wires that are causing constant tripping.
  • Take a look at your circuit breaker and replace the breakers that show signs of damage.
  • In case of a complete power outage of the street, contact your energy provider to know the real cause.
  • In case of a power outage in your home, turn off the power from the main electrical panel and contact a certified electrical engineer to visit and fix the problem.
  • Always use electric appliances according to the owner’s manual and ensure their cord fitting is firm to switches and sockets.
  • Check your credit if you are on a prepaid power package.
  • Use an electronic locking system in case the electrical supply is interrupted.

Are there any legal implications?

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) regulations make the landlord responsible for the repair, maintenance and replacement of the electrical system for uninterrupted power supply. If the tenancy agreement states that the landlord is responsible for supplying and maintaining the electric appliances, then the landlord is responsible for that too.
If a tenant has reported an electrical issue to the landlord and the landlord has refused or ignored the request, the tenant can contact local authorities or take the tenancy agreement to the court for enforcement action.
However, if the tenant is responsible for the repairs of the electric devices, he or she will be responsible for the damage caused by the malfunctioning equipment. The landlord can deduct the repair or replacement cost from the security deposit or demand payment from the tenant.

Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR)


In addition to the aforementioned responsibilities, landlords in many jurisdictions are required to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) at regular intervals, typically every 5 years, for rented properties. An EICR is a comprehensive inspection and testing process conducted by a qualified electrician to assess the safety and compliance of the electrical installations within the property.

The EICR provides a detailed overview of the condition of the electrical wiring, circuits, and fixtures, identifying any potential hazards or non-compliance with safety standards. This report plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of tenants and meeting legal obligations.

Landlords should keep a copy of the EICR, and if any issues are identified, they must take prompt action to address them. Failure to comply with EICR requirements may have legal implications, including fines and restrictions on renting out the property.

Moreover, an up-to-date EICR can serve as evidence that the landlord has fulfilled their duty of care regarding the electrical safety of the property. This documentation may be particularly important in case of disputes or legal proceedings related to electrical issues.

In the context of the provided paragraph, it would be advisable to include information about the EICR as a proactive measure that landlords can take to ensure the ongoing safety and compliance of the electrical system within their rented properties.

What To Consider As A Property Manager?

Electrical safety is critical and a property manager is required to periodically check the safety of electrical appliances, electric wiring and devices that attach to them such as:
  • Damaged, exposed, or frayed electrical wiring.
  • Power surges cause flickering in different electric appliances and burning out of lights and bulbs.
  • Power outages only affect the landlord’s property in the street.
  • Damaged, broken, sparkling, or loose power sockets and broken socket covers.
  • Damaged or malfunctioning fuse box.
The property manager is also responsible to:
  • Repair or replace all the malfunctioning electrical equipment, electrical wiring, fuse box and breakers.
  • Identify whether the landlord or tenant is responsible and handle the repairs and costs.

Tenant Factsheet

A property manager might want to share the following ‘Guide for tenants: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector‘ with the tenants.

  • Take care of the rented property by not causing electrical related damage.
  • Report an electric problem to the landlord or the property manager as soon as the problem arises.
  • Never do repairs to electric appliances and electronic devices.
  • Register electric appliances with the manufacturer upon buying.
  • Use electric appliances with care by following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Provide easy access to the landlord, property manager, and the certified engineer for electrical repair works.
  • Keep and know how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire erupts from short-circuiting.

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