Commenting on Baroness Grender’s Renters’ Rights Private Members’ Bill – which recently had its second reading in the House of Lords – Phil Buckle, Director General of the charity, Electrical Safety First, said:
“One of the clauses in this Bill seeks to strengthen the Government’s amendment to the Housing and Planning Act – which would make regular, five-yearly electrical safety checks in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) a legal requirement for landlords.
“We strongly support such a requirement, which would benefit both landlords and tenants. Electricity causes around half of all domestic fires in Great Britain, leading to billions of pounds of property damage and immeasurable personal cost. Dangerous electrics in the PRS results in more deaths and injuries than those caused by gas and carbon monoxide poisoning, yet landlords have provided annual gas safety certificates since 1998 and recent legislation has made carbon monoxide alarms obligatory. It’s time this issue was addressed - particularly since our campaign for regular electrical checks, by a competent person, has been included in a recent Scottish and Welsh housing legislation. ”
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- Last year, 16% of PRS tenants experienced electrical hazards and this figureincreases to 20% for those with children. (You Gov 2014, jointly commissioned by British Gas and Shelter).
- One person each week in GB is killed by an electrical fire and more than a quarter of a million (350,000) are severely injured each year. (Electrical Safety First Core Data Set).
- The term ‘competent person’ relates to someone registered with one of the Government’s Competent Person Schemes (CPS). These were introduced to allow individuals and enterprises to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations, as an alternative to submitting a building notice or using an approved inspector.