Poor electrical safety in the Private Rental Sector (PRS) is placing tenants’ lives in danger, as they fail to be protected by any legislation.
In the last year alone, 16% of tenants experienced electrical hazards, and this worryingly increased to 20% for those with children.
In Great Britain, one person each week is killed in an electrical fire, and 350,000 each year are severely injured as the result of an electric shock, with research suggesting that private tenants are more likely to be protected.
These figures are considerably higher than fatalities and accidents caused by gas and carbon monoxide poisoning; 18,000 and 3,000 respectively. In the PRS, landlords are obliged to provide annual gas safety certificates and recent legislation has made CO2 alarms obligatory, minimising the risks.
However as of yet, there is no requirement for landlords to regularly inspect the electrics in the properties, unless they rent out registered house in multiple occupation.
MPs are calling for this to be changed, and in a survey by Electrical Safety First, 77% of MP’s agreed that landlords should have to carry out mandatory, five-yearly electrical safety checks across the PRS.
The charity Electrical Safety first have already successfully fought to have this protection provided to private tenants in Scotland and is looking for it to be introduced through the Renting Homes (Wales) bill.
Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, explains: “With the PRS continuing to expand at an unprecedented rate, the need for regular electrical safety checks can only increase.”
“The cost for this essential precaution is minimal and is a small price to pay for the protection of people and property. It’s time electrical safety is on par with gas safety – and the majority of MPs seem to agree with us,” he adds.