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10 Warning Signs Your Rental Property Needs an Electrician

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Electrical issues in a home or rental property are the very worst kind of problems to have. When dealing with malfunction of a home’s electrical systems, the margin for error is very narrow. Every single year, thousands of deaths and house fires happen as a result of electrical problems in the home. Only a short distance separates the occupants of the home from disaster.

The main issue with electrical problems in the home is the signs are hidden or they happen sporadically. Typically, when there is a fault with the wiring systems in a rental property, tenants may actually see or hear the signs but because they do not interpret them correctly, nothing is done to fix the issue.

What are the signs that a rental property’s electrical systems may be in trouble? This is why educating tenants on how to identify the subtle signs of electrical malfunctions in the home is vital. says you should also make regular inspections of the home’s electrical systems a part of your preventive maintenance program for the property.

This brief but insightful post explains the telltale signs you and your tenants should look out for. As you read the post, do bear in mind that electrical problems should not be handled by amateurs. Do not attempt to fix an electrical fault yourself. If your tenants see any of the below signs they should notify you immediately, so you can contact your electrician.

Warning signs that your home needs an electrician

1. Scorch marks on outlets

Power outlets that appear to be melting and have brown marks on them are an indication that wires are burning and melting the plastic casing of the outlet. Even if there are no burn marks on the outlet, if it becomes hot during use, you need an electrician to take a look at it.

2. Strange odors

Electrical problems don’t always betray their presence by emitting odors in the home. When they do, count yourself lucky, but most importantly, take immediate action. If there is the smell of fish, burning or charred plastic, and rotten eggs in the home but you cannot find a valid explanation for it, it is time to call an electrician.

3. Flickering and dimming lights

Flickering lights may be due to issues with a lighting fixture or the home’s electrical wiring. If this problem happens with a single light bulb in the home, replacing the light bulb or fixture should solve the problem. But if the issue is widespread in the home or replacing the fixture doesn’t solve the problem, please call your electrician.

4. Acrid-smelling smoke

Acrid-smelling smoke (or smoke of any sort) issuing from the home’s electrical systems is a big problem. This typically happens at the beginning stages of an electrical fire when surrounding materials catch fire. The smoke could be emerging from a wall, power outlet, or electrical fixture. If you smell acrid-smelling smoke, turn off the circuit breaker and call an electrician.

5. Strange hissing or clicking noises

Electrical wires will often make a clicking sound when they spark. You may also hear a buzzing or hissing sound from an electrical fixture, appliance, or inside the walls. This problem is often caused by faulty wiring or loose connections within the system. If you hear clicks or buzzing sounds when you flip a switch, there is a problem.

6. Overheating electrical appliances

It is normal for electrical equipment or appliances to feel warm when being used. However, if electrical equipment such as ceiling features or household appliances are hot, rather than warm, you have a problem. Of course, this could just be an issue of poor ventilation, but you should have an electrician check.

7. Rodent droppings

If you frequently see rodent droppings or other signs of mice in the rental home, you have good reason to be worried about your electrical systems. Mice may chew on wires and strip them of their plastic casing. To keep rodents from becoming a problem, get an exterminator and have your wiring inspected for possible damage afterwards.

8. Your circuit breaker frequently trips

A circuit breaker is designed to trip when the flow of electricity to your home is abnormal. If this happens occasionally, it is nothing to be worried about; simply return the breaker to the “on” position. But, if the breaker trips regularly, there is an underlying problem with your home’s electrical systems; you need an electrician.

9. Regular power outages

This doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. General power outages that affect the power supply to your entire city or region are not the focus here. Instead, these are outages that happen as a result of moisture penetration or snakes, squirrels, birds and other animals, causing breaks in the flow of electricity to the home.

10. Outdated wiring

If the wiring in the rental property was done in the ’60s to’80s, the chances that the wiring is made of aluminum are high. Aluminum wiring is 55 times more likely to catch fire than copper. If your rental property has old and outdated wiring, it is time to replace it with something that is up to code.


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