When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Electrical and furniture safety standards

There are certain rules about safety which your landlord must observe.

Electrical safety

There are no laws that specifically cover electrical safety in privately rented accommodation. However if Northern Ireland Electricity believes that the electricity at a property is unsafe it can disconnect the electrical supply.

Any electrical equipment provided by your landlord should be safe but there is no requirement for a safety certificate. If your landlord provides unsafe electrical equipment contact Consumerline on 0845 600 62 62.

The Environmental Health Department at your local council can issue your landlord with a Notice of Disrepair for providing unsafe electrical equipment and may prosecute your landlord if he or she doesn't take action to fix the problem.

Minimising the risks

There are things that you can do to minimise risks to you in your home. These include:

  • do not touch any electrical items that you think are unsafe
  • report the problem to your landlord immediately and ask her/him to send a qualified electrician to investigate
  • make sure that smoke alarms are fitted and in working order
  • plan what to do in case of fire and be aware of all escape routes
  • make sure that exit routes are clear.

Furniture safety

The (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1998 state that furniture provided in furnished accommodation must be fire resistant. This applies to all new furniture provided after 1 March 1993 even if your tenancy started before 1993.

These regulations do not apply to furniture made before 1 January 1950 or soft furnishings, such as bedclothes, carpets, curtains or pillowcases.

Contact the Environmental Health Department of your local council if your landlord provides furniture that isn't fire resistant.