Electrical Periodic Inspections [guide for landlords]

Plug socket testing

Every electrical installation deteriorates over time due to use and age. It is important to make sure that your tenants are not put in any danger by ensuring that the installation is regularly inspected and maintained.

The Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords of properties with short leases to keep the electrical wiring in proper working order.

This guide will help you to understand the process of a periodic inspection.

What is a periodic inspection?

As the name suggests, a periodic inspection is a regular inspection of a property’s electrical installation.

As a landlord, you have a duty of care to your tenants to ensure that the electrical installation is safe when they enter the property, and is properly maintained throughout their tenancy. This is stated in the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985, and it is recommended that you have a registered electrician carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

What is an EICR?

Electrical testing reading

An EICR is an inspection of the existing electrical installation, which identifies and prioritises any shortcomings against the current revision of the national safety standard BS7671.

How often is a periodic inspection required when renting out a property?

It is recommended that periodic electrical inspections for a tenanted property are carried out every 5 years or at each change of occupancy, whichever comes first, to ensure that the electrical installation of a property is in a satisfactory condition for continued safe use.

If a change of tenancy occurs after a very short period of letting (such as less than 6 months), a full periodic inspection may not necessarily be required. It is, however, important that an electrical safety inspection is carried out prior to the property being re-let, to ensure that everything is still safe.

What is assessed in a periodic inspection?

Circuit board tested as part of periodic inspection

The aim of the periodic inspection is to:

  • Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded
  • Find any potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards in your electrical installation
  • Identify any defective DIY electrical work
  • Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding
  • Identify departures from the National standard (BS 7671)

Periodic inspection is not the same at PAT testing

It is worth noting that periodic inspections are not the same as PAT testing, which relates only to portable appliances (those which require plugging in and can be carried or rolled to a new location) and must also be carried out where applicable. You can find out more about PAT testing.


VHL’s extensive landlord services include all aspects of electrical safety checks, including periodic inspections and PAT testing. Get in touch with us for more information on any of these services.



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