Mandatory checks backed by industry forum

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The government’s announcement it will bring in mandatory electrical checks in the Private Rented Sector has been welcomed by the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR), which has been campaigning for the change for several years.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire gave notice of the forthcoming changes in a speech which also detailed a number of measures designed to strengthen building safety, based on recommendations made in the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. 

The inspections are intended to bring the overall state of privately rented properties into line with other tenures, with government figures showing that 40% of properties in the sector were missing at least one of the recommended five electrical safety features. This compares with around 25% of properties in other rented sectors.

Chris Bielby MBE, chair of the ESR, said “Our meetings bring together representatives from a range of bodies in the industry, and we have long had a general consensus that legislation needs to be introduced to improve electrical safety in the Private Rented Sector. These inspections will provide an extra level of protection for tenants from faulty electrical installations, which can cause fires and lead to injury or death. We are glad to see the government agrees with our stance that these checks should be carried out every five years, and hope that they also share our view that inspections must only be carried out by registered electricians who are competent to carry out inspection and testing work.”