Warning Signs Your Rental Property

Needs an Electrician

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As a property owner, do you agree that electrical problems are some of the most frustrating issues you can face? Besides making your home unsafe for your tenants, these problems also raise the cost of energy bills and decrease property value.


That said, as a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your property is safe and habitable. Therefore, paying attention to electrical problems in your rental property is crucial. It could make or break your investment.


In this article, we are going to outline 6 warning signs that suggest your rental property needs an electrician.

Warning Sign #1:
Outdated Wiring

Eventually, everything in your rental unit, including the wiring, will succumb to wear and tear. In fact, one common sign that your electrical installations are deteriorating are unexpected malfunctions.

When the wiring is damaged and exposed, there is not only the risk of electrocution but also the risk of fire developing. According to SGI Canada, there is an annual average of 24,000 house fires. This has resulted in about 377 deaths and 3,048 deaths every year.

As a matter of fact, 1 out of 100 are fatal and 9.4% of these were electrical fires. It has also been reported that 74% of these electrical fires happened in residential properties and most fire deaths is the result of this.

Besides damaged and exposed wiring, other telltale signs that you need an electrician include loose wiring, disconnected plugs and internal cracks in the system. These are particularly hazardous if there are kids living in the home as well.

Warning #2: Tripping Breakers

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Another warning sign that your rental property may need an electrician is if your circuit breakers keep on tripping. The role of circuit breakers is to detect a fault and then isolate the load from the source. So, if your tenants are complaining about the circuit breakers tripping rather frequently, hire an electrician quickly to help diagnose the problem.

Warning Sign #3:
Blown Fuses

A fuse will only blow if there is something faulty in the electrical system. Basically, a fuse is a safety component that breaks or blows before something more important gets damaged.

There are many possible reasons as to why a fuse can blow. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • The wiring is damaged.
  • The electrical outlets are damaged or outdated.
  • The wrong type of fuse was installed.
  • There’s problem with the circuit or the breaker.
  • The arc or ground is faulted.
  • The circuit is overloaded.

Hiring an electrician will help address the root cause of the problem.

Warning #4: Burning Smells

Electrical Service

If you constantly smell something burning, then you need to act quickly. If the scent comes from an outlet or an appliance, this could signal a severe problem. The stronger the scent, the worse the issue.

If your tenant notifies you about this issue, you should act promptly. Start by investigating where the odor is coming from. Then, switch off any appliances that are connected to the outlet. Finally, contact a professional electrician as quickly as possible.

Since the wiring is often coated with a synthetic material, electrical fires typically have a unique smell of burned plastic. If it’s left unattended, it could become very dangerous and even set any surrounding materials on fire.

LED Lighting

Warning Sign #5:
Flickering Lights

Flickering lights could also be a sign of trouble. It may mean that your property’s circuit is chronically overloaded or indicate a faulty wiring.

Here are some other causes of flickering or blinking lights:

  • Appliance are pulling large amounts of current on startup, which is causing a voltage drop.
  • It’s a faulty light or fixture switch.
  • The light plug is loose.
  • There’s a problem with the bulb. It may not be in tight enough, or it may be the wrong bulb for the type of dimmer switch.

If the flickering is only occurring in one light, you can try to fix it yourself before contacting a professional. However, if that doesn’t work, make sure to contact your electrician.

Warning #6: Sparks

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If you notice sparks coming from appliances, outlets or a fuse box, immediately contact an electrician. Sparks can come from a variety of electrical installations, such as outlets, sockets, switches and panels.

When this occurs, always seek professional help from an experienced electrician

How to Hire the Right Electrician

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There may be many electricians in your area, so how do you know which one to work with?

We recommend contacting a few prospective electricians and asking them the following questions:

  • Do you offer a warranty?
  • Do you have a business license?
  • Who is doing the work?
  • Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

Then, based on how each of them responds, make your decision.

Bottom Line

There you have it. These are 6 warning signs your rental property needs an electrician. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced professional to help with the electrical needs of your rental units is crucial. They can help you find and fix any electrical problems you encounter.

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