Scottish Housing Bill to improve electrical safety in the PRS

16 May 2014

The Scottish Housing Bill

Electrical Safety First’s campaign for improved safety in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) has taken another step closer – with the help of partners and supporters.

The new Housing Bill recently underwent its second stage review by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, when proposed amendments to the Bill were considered.

Bob Doris MSP tabled an amendment that would ensure mandatory, five-yearly electrical checks, by a registered electrician, of all PRS homes – and any electrical appliance supplied with them.

Margaret Burgess, the Minister for Housing and Welfare gave her support and approval to the amendment and urged the Committee to vote to include it in the Bill. The Committee’s decision to do so was unanimous.

After the vote, Bob Doris commented: “I have no doubt this amendment will help prevent fires and could save lives. Over 3,400 fires in Scottish homes arise from an electrical fault – almost 70% of all accidental fires. The provisions in this Bill are an important safeguard for the 80,000 families who live in Scotland’s PRS – a quarter of whom live with children.

“I pay credit to Electrical Safety First, who I have worked closely with, and the Scottish Association of Landlords, who have been instrumental in gaining the support of the private rented sector. Including electrical safety checks in this Bill will help ensure that people renting privately will get the protection they need.”

The Scottish Housing Bill will now undergo its third and final stage, when it will be debated by the entire Chamber. It is expected that the Bill will become law before the summer recess at the end of June, and come into effect later this year.