The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) hasnwelcomed the introduction of the London Rental Standard (LRS) as a positive development but is concerned it does not go far enough in improving electrical safety.
The LRS – one of Boris Johnson’s campaign commitments during the last Mayor of London elections – aims to raise standards in the city’s booming private rented sector (PRS).
However, references to safety standards simply state landlords must comply with current legal requirements, including having no category 1 or significant or multiple category 2 hazards. (Under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System, a category 1 is the most serious hazard that can be found in a property).
Commenting on the introduction of the LRS, Phil Buckle, director general of the ESC said: “The development of the London Rental Standard and its aim to create a single accreditation badge for the capital is a step forward but it doesn’t go far enough to improve electrical safety. High safety standards should be a vital prerequisite for any landlord seeking accreditation. Given that research indicates PRS tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than owner-occupiers, or those in social housing – and that over half of accidental domestic fires in Britain are caused by electricity – the lack of specificity in relation to electrical safety is regrettable.”
The ESC had called for the LRS to include a mandatory minimum standard, which included electrical safety, to ensure that properties are in a reasonable state of repair. The ESC also lobbied for a requirement for fitting residual current devices (i.e. RCDs, the most effective method of protecting against electric shock and reducing the risk of fire) to be a pre-condition of accreditation.