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Charities Call for Law Forcing Landlords to Check Electrics

According to leading charities Shelter and Electrical Safety First around one third of rental properties in England don’t meet basic electrical safety standards. The charities are warning that more than one million potentially dangerous issues were reported last year and some tenants were being evicted as a result of bringing problems to their landlord’s attention.

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Recommendations from Electrical Safety First At the moment, landlords are under no legal obligation to check electrics in rental properties. Electrical Safety First recommends that wiring and electrical fittings be tested by an accredited electrician. This would cost around £100.

“Mandatory five yearly checks are the only way to ensure that all private rented sector properties are safe,” says Phil Buckle from Electrical Safety First.

“This change in law would be very easy to implement as the primary legislation already exists and our research shows that the majority of MPs would support a change in the law.”

The RLA Responds to Claims from Shelter and Electrical Safety First However, the RLA is quick to point out that despite the lack of specific regulations on electrical safety, landlords do have to adhere to certain obligations. In particular landlords must make sure that electrical appliances are safe at the beginning of a tenancy and that they are maintained in good working order at all times. HMO landlords must arrange for a competent electrician to carry out safety checks every five years.

Landlords should also remember that if a tenant is injured or dies as a result of a defective electrical system in the property, he or she is liable for prosecution via the Defective Premises Act.

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