Reforming Safety – Seeking Support for the Tenancy Reform Bill

27 November 2014

Seeking support for the Tenancy Reform Bill

Electrical Safety First is calling on MPs to support the Tenancy Reform Bill -  due to be debated in the House of Commons this Friday -  which  aims to prevent ‘retaliatory’ evictions by landlords to tenants who have complained about poor or unsafe conditions in their rented homes.

One in eight renters have chosen not to ask for repairs to be carried out, or challenged a rent increase, due to fear of eviction[1]. Yet dangerous electrics, in particular, can pose a serious risk, with almost half of all domestic fires in the UK (around 20,000 each year), caused by electricity.[2]

Over 9 million people – and growing - are now living in England’s private rented sector (PRS). In the last 2 years, almost 50% of the growth in the PRS has been from families with children but research indicates that, while 16% of private tenants’ experienced electrical hazards during 2013-14, this figure increased to 20% for tenants with children.[3]

”This Bill provides an opportunity to protect private tenants from dangerous electrics”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First. “We have long lobbied for mandatory, five yearly checks on electrical installations and supplied appliances in privately rented homes. It’s a cost-effective and simple way to protect both tenants and properties.  And by ensuring tenants feel safe in reporting repair issues, responsible landlords can maintain their property more effectively – thereby saving money and, potentially, saving lives”.


Editor’s Notes

  • Current estimates suggest that a five yearly check of the electricals in a private tenancy would cost approximately £100 - £150 – equivalent to £3.00 per month over a five-year period.
  • Landlords who have not protected their tenants’ deposits or have not licensed their property when required to do some are already prevented from serving a ‘no fault’ eviction notice. This Bill is simply applying the same principle to poor conditions.
  • Electrical Safety First is the leading charity dedicated to preventing deaths, injuries and damage caused by electricity.

For more information, please contact:

Angela Murphy e: t: 020 3463 5127

Robert Jervis-Gibbons e: t: 020 3463 5131

[1] YouGov 20014, base 4,544 private renting English adults. Research jointly commissioned by Shelter and British Gas.

[2] Electrical Safety First Core Data Set.

[3] From the report Home Improvement: talking poor electrical safe in the private rented sector, produced by Electrical Safety First and Shelter.