Commenting on the London Assembly’s unanimous motion for the government to introduce mandatory, 5 yearly electrical safety checks in the private rented sector (PRS), Phil Buckle, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, said: “London has the biggest PRS in the UK, so we are delighted that the London Assembly supports our campaign for this key safety requirement.
“Dangerous electrics in the PRS results in more deaths and injuries than those caused by gas and carbon monoxide poisoning, yet landlords have had to provide annual gas safety certificates since 1998 and the requirement for carbon monoxide alarms came into force last October. Regular electrical checks are required in Scotland and due to come into effect in Wales. Private renters in England should have the same level of protection.”
Electrical Safety First led the charge in ensuring regular electrical checks for PRS properties were included the recent Housing Acts passed by the Devolved Governments in Scotland and Wales. And the England-only Housing and Planning Act, which gained Royal Assent last May, included an amendment on electrical safety - which the Charity sponsored. However, a range of secondary legislation will need to be passed before the Act comes into force (which is not expected until April 2017).
The Charity has called for regular, electrical checks to be undertaken every 5 years - by a suitably qualified electrician, registered with one of the Government’s Competent Person Schemes - of both the installation and any electrical appliance supplied with it. To help ensure landlords understand their obligations, Electrical Safety First has produced a number of tools and guides and a visual inspection app, which can be downloaded to a mobile phone, to help provide an initial electrical safety review of any property.