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Landlords support calls for compulsory electrical checks

RLA
Written by RLA

Landlords are supporting calls for the Government to introduce mandatory electrical safety checks in private rented housing…

Landlords are supporting calls for the Government to introduce mandatory electrical safety checks in private rented housing.

On the day that Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Thornton, initiates a debate in Parliament on electrical safety in private rented housing, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) is supporting calls for legislation to ensure rented homes are checked by a registered electrician every ten years.

Existing legislation affects only Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) –  shared houses occupied by more than five people – and requires tests every five years. Owner occupied houses are only “recommended” to have electrical tests every ten years. RLA further supports more frequent inspections on the advice of the electrician.

The RLA also believes that all electrical installations should contain Residual Current Devices (RCD) which can cut the electric supply when there is a fault.

The proposals form an important part of the RLA’s aim of a safe, legal and secure private rented sector.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords’ Association said:

“It is illogical that gas checks are required annually but electrical safety checks are applied only to a part of the market.

“As with gas, tenants should rightly expect that when they move into a property the electrics are safe and should be able to see a dated certificate to prove this. However tenants must also not overload or abuse their own electrical equipment which is a frequent cause of fire and injury.”

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About the author

RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

7 Comments

  • As a qualified un-registered electrician and being conversant with part’P’ building regulations and BS7671 17th edition of the requirements of electrical installations. It is my intention to continue undertaking my own periodic electrical installation inspections and tests. Record these findings, and provide a copy to building control, of my area local authority. I believe being registered to a trade body not absolutely necessary as the electrical regulations stipulate competence and not qualification.

    I only own one residential letting property. I don’t wish to be bound by additional unnecessary red tape.

    In your article you stated residential properties to be protected by a residential current device. When in actual fact the device you described is called a residual current device Clearly a typo error occurred or to much sherry trifle over the holidays?

  • As a landlord, you are legally obliged to provide and maintain your rental property in a safe condition. For this reason, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recommends that the electrical installation is formally inspected and tested at least once every 5 years, by a competent person, and a report confirming its condition is issued (Electrical Installation Condition Report – EICR). Any remedial work that is required should be undertaken by a registered electrician.“

  • Hi

    Not sure where the recommendation for electrical tests every 10 years came from. I thought it was every five years as per below.

    “I think the As a landlord, you are legally obliged to provide and maintain your rental property in a safe condition. For this reason, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recommends that the electrical installation is formally inspected and tested at least once every 5 years, by a competent person, and a report confirming its condition is issued (Electrical Installation Condition Report – EICR). Any remedial work that is required should be undertaken by a registered electrician.“

    As one who has recently had a £60 000 insurance claim for a fire caused by an electrical fault I do think electrical safety regulations are not taken as seriously as those for gas. I understand it is still acceptable to have the old wired fuses, rather than MCBs or an RCD board.

    It is an improvement that all relevant work has to be carried out by a competent person and where required has to be notified to the local building control department.

    Regards

    Bob Grant
    Chartered Building Surveyor

  • I don’t object to the proposals, but would point out that adding costs to one side of the business will inevitably increase the rents which are required by owners. So as long as our liberal politicians are happy that costs for renters are to go up, then well and good. Unfortunately I expect that politicians expect the reverse…that’s why they are paid bythe state rather than making their own money or running their own business. Invariably it’s because of his “face” and kudos that he is willing to stand up and requestchangeswhich he believes will help him get elected again.

  • So this MP thinks that we as landlords need this unnecessary red tape , another cost to be passed on to tenants, in the realm of consistency why are private houses any different?As long as there is an RCD protecting the installation then the risk of electric shock is minimised.As an Electrical engineer myself with a house rented then surely to satisfy me it should then be a requirement for the tenants also to have all of their appliances checked at their expense so that I am confident that the property will not go up in smoke due to an unsafe appliance of the tenants.As Gas appliances are generally fixed in the property then there is control over that, but you have no control on what the tenants are plugging in.So if Landlords are forced to do this in the guise of providing a safe electrical system that the tenants are confident in, then the tenants should satisfy me that they pose no risk to my property also.Can’t see them enforcing this as it would bring hardship on the tenants

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