Reforming Safety – Electrical Safety First comments on the Tenancy Reform Bill

01 December 2014

Electrical Safety First comments on the Tenancy Reform Bill

Commenting on the Tenancy (Reform) Bill – which despite Government and cross-party support has failed to get through to its next reading - Philip Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, commented:

“It’s disappointing that this Bill has failed. 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] Our proposals for regular, mandatory checks of the electrics in the Private Rented Sector are a cost-effective and simple way to protect both tenants and properties.

“However, we are pleased that Sarah Teather MP, who sponsored the Bill, recognised our contribution to this issue - and that the debate showed an increasing understanding within Parliament of the dangers of electricity, particularly for those private tenants who are families with children.”


Editor’s Notes

  • 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]
  • Electrical Safety First is campaigning for mandatory, five yearly checks on electrical installations and supplied appliances in privately rented homes.

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.