Will landlords be forced to check electrical wiring?
The homelessness charity Shelter and Electrical Safety First, the campaigning arm of the Electrical Safety Council, claim that a third of properties in England are failing to meet basic standards and that over a million electrical problems were reported last year.
Electrical Safety First say: “We are campaigning for the introduction of mandatory five-yearly safety checks by a competent person of the electrical installation and any electrical appliances supplied with the letting, along with requirements for provision of relevant safety certificates to tenants”.
Steve Wright, the Partner in charge of Lettings at Fenn Wright says: “We would welcome a change in legislation that brings electrical checks in line with the way the industry deals with gas safety. The safety of all tenants is paramount and a simple, five-yearly electrical safety certificate similar to the annual one used for all gas appliances would be easy to implement and really the only way to ensure that all private rental sector properties are safe. Any such ruling would make electrical safety very clear for both letting agents and landlords – whilst protecting the tenant”.
The Residential Landlords Association says that although there are no specific regulations in relation to electrical safety, landlords are required to meet certain obligations. Property owners are liable for prosecution under the Defective Premises Act if a tenant or resident suffers death or injury as a result of a defect in the electrical system in the premises. In addition, Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that Landlords are obligated to ensure all installations (including electrics) are kept in a good and safe state of repair.
Fenn Wright landlords requiring Electrical Installation Condition Reports for any of their rental properties, in advance of any law changes, should not hesitate to contact the property maintenance department based at Tollgate.
Private landlords that look after their own property can find out more about the Fenn Wright property management and lettings service here.