Electrical safety standards to be improved for private tenants

Recommended new electrical safety standards to better protect private tenants have been published for consultation

Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler, has published new safety recommendations to better protect private tenants by reducing the risk of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults.

Five yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties and safety certificates for tenants, to prove checks and repair work have been completed, are part of a package of independent recommendations to improve safety.

This builds on other measures already introduced or planned to improve the quality of private rented properties including fines of up to £30,000 for rogue landlords and agents and banning orders for the worst offenders.

According to recent data, tenants in the private rented sector face a higher risk of electrical shock and fires caused by electrical faults in their homes compared to social housing tenants.

Heather Wheeler said: “Everyone deserves a safe place to live. While measures are already in place to crack down on the minority are already in place to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe properties we need to do more to protect tenants.

“That’s why we introduced powers to enable stronger electrical safety standards to be brought in along with tough penalties for those who don’t comply.

“We want to ensure we strike the right balance between protecting tenants while being fair for landlords. So I want to hear from as many people as possible whether these independent recommendations are the right approach.”

These recommendations include:

  • 5 yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties.
  • Mandatory safety certificates confirming installation checks have been completed along with any necessary repair work provided to both landlord and tenants at the beginning of the tenancy and made available to the local authority on request.
  • A private rented sector electrical testing competent person’s scheme should be established to ensure properly trained experts undertake this work. This would be separate from existing building regulations competent person.
  • Landlord supplied electrical appliance testing and visual checks of electrical appliances by landlords at a change of tenancy should be promoted as good practice and set out in guidance.

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