The official terminology for a landlord electrical certificate is 'Electrical Installation Condition Report' (EICR) which you are issued with after 'Periodic Testing & Inspection' is carried out.
As a landlord it is advisable to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report renewed yearly to protect yourself as a landlord in the case of an accident. A minimum recommendation is every 5 years or on change of occupancy.
Periodic testing & inspection and
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
when booked with an EICR
from only £2/item
To meet these requirements a landlord will need to regularly carry out basic safety checks to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are safe and working.
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Taken from www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/for-landlords/ - Electrical safety first provide a helpful PDF download on Landlords' guide to electrical safety.
If there was an incident you will need to be able to prove that you have carried out your responsibilities as a landlord. It is unlikely that an unqualified person will be considered competent to decide how regularly your property needed periodic testing.
You need to demonstrate that the person who certified that the electrical installation was safe was qualified to do so. A qualified & competent electrician can show that they have the knowledge to adequately test the installation. An unqualified person is unlikely to be able to show this. Essentially, you are paying an electrician to take the responsibility to make that decision for you and put their name to it!
Probably the most important thing to keep your tenants safe is making sure that you have an RCD and that it works. You can test the mechanical part of the RCD by pushing the test button on it regularly (this will cut the power so make sure you have saved anything on your computer first!)
If you do not have an RCD on your consumer unit/fuse board then please get in touch.
Check that socket outlets & light fittings are not cracked or damaged. It sounds like a straightforward thing but it is an important check. Replacing a broken fitting can prevent bigger problems later on.
Electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk have a handy app to allow you to check if your sockets are overloaded;
Other signs of overloaded sockets include burn marks or scorch marks when the socket has overheated.