Response to parliamentary report on private sector housing

17 July 2013

Comment on CLG recommendation

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has welcomed the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee’s recommendation that private sector landlords be required to undertake a mandatory five-yearly check of electrical installations in their properties.

The recommendation is detailed in the just-released CLG Select Committee report into England’s private rented sector (PRS). It calls on government to introduce a requirement for a competent person to comprehensively review installations every five years, with a visual check being undertaken on change of tenancy. To achieve this, it asks government to liaise with the electrical industry to establish suitable certification.

“We are delighted that the Committee has made this recommendation”, comments Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “We have, for some time now, been lobbying hard for such mandatory regulation in the PRS. The Government’s own data shows that 21% of England’s PRS contains category 1 hazards1 - the most dangerous risk to health and safety under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System.
“Independent research suggests that PRS tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than owner-occupiers, or those in social housing.2

Government statistics also show that over half of all accidental fires in GB homes (more than 20,000 annually) are caused by electricity.3 With the PRS expanding significantly over the past decade – now comprising over 16.5%4 of all households and growing – it is essential that electrical safety in the sector is properly regulated.”

The ESC has identified other key changes which could help improve conditions for PRS tenants and assist landlords to engage in best practice. For more information, visit:

1 English Housing Survey 2011, DCLG
2 Research conducted by Ipsos MORI 25th June-2nd July 2010
3 ESC core data-set, based on DCLG Fire Statistics
4 English Housing Survey 2011, DCLG

For more information please contact Angela Murphy on 020 3463 5127 or at