We have produced a log book to help landlords meet their legal obligations and to promote good practice with regard to maintaining safe conditions in houses in multiple occupation.

Download the Fire, electrical and gas safety log book for HMO landlords

Electrical safety

To meet electrical safety refulations:

  • landlords of HMOs must maintain the electrical system in safe working condition
  • the electrical installation must be checked for safety every 5 years and a report issued
  • all electrical inspection work and testing must be done by a qualified and registered electrician
  • some electrical work will need building regulations approval

Portable Appliance Testing

Safety regulations require:

  • all cables and appliances should be routinely checked for signs of damage and scorching and replaced as necessary
  • portable appliances provided by the landlord should be checked at regular intervals for electrical safety (includes fridges, washing machines and other large appliances with plugs)
  • electrical sockets should be suitably located to minimise the need for extension leads

Adaptors, extension leads and avoiding electrical fires

Extension leads can create tripping hazards and if misused, overload sockets leading to overheating and fires. 

Plug block adaptors are particularly hazardous as the weight of the plugs and leads attached to it can put strain on the pins, causing it to pull out the socket, creating a poor connection, overheating and fires. This is worsened by the fact these adaptors tend to be used in kitchens for multiple power-hungry items such as the kettle, toaster and microwave.

During inspections, landlords should look out for scorching, damaged wiring/equipment and signs of overloading. Ideally all electrical appliances should be plugged directly into wall sockets. Where tenants are found using plug adaptors, stringing multiple extension leads together, or overloading sockets, landlords should educate tenants on the dangers and work with them to find alternatives:

  • unplug devices not in use
  • relocate appliances to avoid the need for adaptors and extension leads, especially high-power items
  • heaters should be hard-wired
  • replace block adaptors with fused, flat, multipoint extension leads and ensure they are suitably rated for the load
  • provide more suitably located sockets

Gas safety

To meet gas safety refulations:

  • landlords must get all gas appliances checked annually by a gas safe registered engineer and obtain a gas safety certificate
  • it is recommended that carbon monoxide detection is provided in all rooms containing a gas appliance
  • a copy of the gas safety certificate must be provided to all assured shorthold tenants at the property whose tenancies began on or after 1 October 2015

Electrical and gas safety external resources