It is not unusual for old rental properties to encounter electrical issues such as malfunctioning light switches, tripped circuit breakers, and high electricity bills.

Electricity is an essential part of modern life and faulty electrics can be inconvenient and pose a serious health risk. This is why it is essential that landlords maintain their electrical systems and keep them in good condition for their tenants.

Here are five reasons why old rental properties may have electrical issues:

1. Outdated appliances

Many old rental properties have outdated appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, and freezers. Old or faulty appliances are uneconomical as they use more energy and cost more to run. They can also cause electrical issues like power surges and present a fire hazard if they are not replaced.

The easiest way to resolve this problem is by updating old appliances with modern, eco-friendly alternatives. Look for new home appliances with an energy-efficient label of A or higher.

You can arrange PAT testing to check the quality and safety of moveable electrical appliances within your property e.g. portable heaters and microwaves. This will help to ensure that appliances are functioning effectively while minimising the risk of electrical fires.

2. Old and faulty wiring

Old and faulty wiring is another common cause of electrical issues in old rental properties. The wiring inside many rental properties is out of date, and it is struggling to supply the tenant’s ever-growing collection of electrical appliances, lighting, and electronics.

Electrical surges, blown fuses, and flickering lights are all signs that your wiring needs updating. You can arrange fixed wire testing to check the safety and quality of the wiring and electrical systems within your property. The inspection will highlight issues with wiring systems so that remedial work can be completed before issues turn into something more serious.

3. Aluminium wiring

Aluminium wiring was used in the late 1960s and the early 1970s as a cheaper alternative to copper, but it is no longer considered a safe option. According to The House Detectives: “Certain properties of aluminium can cause deterioration of connections, possibly presenting a fire hazard after years of service.”

Despite this, some older properties still have aluminium wiring. The best way to minimise the fire hazard of aluminium-wired homes is to replace the wire connections with copper and add a dielectric wire nut connection. These nuts have special grease that stops corrosion and ensures optimal conductivity.

4. Plugs falling out of the receptacle

If a plug keeps falling out of the outlet, then it means there is a problem with the outlet’s receptacle. This is a common issue with old rental properties as the outlets become worn over time and the receptacle no longer grips the prongs securely.

The loose contact can cause electrical arcing, which is a serious fire hazard. If you notice that plugs are falling out of the receptacle, then it’s best to call a qualified electrician straight away to have the worn receptacles replaced.

5. Overloading electrical outlets

Older homes were not built to accommodate the demands of today’s modern electrical appliances and devices. This means that older properties often have fewer socket outlets. Overloading electrical outlets can be extremely dangerous and result in electrical fires.

You can pay an electrician to install additional electrical outlets in your rental property if you are concerned about socket outlets being overloaded. You should also make your tenant’s aware of the risk of overloading outlets.

Bottom line

Many rental properties encounter electrical issues, especially older properties with outdated electrical systems and appliances. Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that electrics are properly maintained and functioning efficiently and safely.

Jackson Martin

Jackson Martin, holding a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas, has been a prominent figure in the home improvement sector for over 18 years. He joined our team in 2020, sharing his expertise in renovation techniques, sustainable building practices, and DIY projects. Jackson's previous experience includes working in residential construction management and as a home renovation consultant. He is an advocate for energy-efficient homes and enjoys participating in local marathon events.

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