New tougher electrical safety standards to protect private tenants

Filed in Landlords by on 20th February, 2019 0 Comments

According to the most recent data tenants in the private rented sector face a higher risk of electrical shock and fires caused by electrical faults in their homes compared to social housing tenants.

To address this the government introduced new powers in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to set and enforce tougher electrical safety standards in the private rented sector and established a working group of independent experts from industry and a range of other sectors to develop recommendations.

Recommended new safety measures to better protect private tenants by reducing the risk of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults were published for consultation on 17 February 2018 by the then Housing Minister Heather Wheeler. We are not sure when the new legislation will commence, however, the latest info can accessed by clicking here.

Five yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties and safety certificates for tenants, to prove checks and repair work have been completed, are part of a package of independent recommendations to improve safety.

Independent recommendations include:

  • 5 yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties.
  • Mandatory safety certificates confirming installation checks have been completed along with any necessary repair work provided to both landlord and tenants at the beginning of the tenancy and made available to the local authority on request.
  • A private rented sector electrical testing competent person’s scheme should be established to ensure properly trained experts undertake this work. This would be separate from existing building regulations competent person.
  • Landlord supplied electrical appliance testing and visual checks of electrical appliances by landlords at a change of tenancy should be promoted as good practice and set out in guidance.

About the Author ()

Rob Crawford is the chairman of the Association of Local Landlords (Wessex). Rob is a practicing landlord with a property portfolio that includes small private residential properties and HMO's. Rob is a qualified letting agent and former owner of Kingfisher Lettings & Management. He is now a share holder of the successful online lettings company Lettingsupermarket.com.

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