Better protection for Social Renters in England

31 March 2021

Following last year’s introduction of five yearly electrical checks in privately rented homes, something we have long been campaigning for, Electrical Safety First has published a policy paper that looks at electrical safety in the Social Rented Sector (SRS).

Although social landlords are required to ensure that their properties are safe, there is currently no legal obligation to carry out electrical checks. We believe that everybody should be safe from the dangers presented by electricity, regardless of tenure. And this can only be achieved when the Social Rented Sector has parity with privately rented homes.

The paper was developed through wide consultation with the sector in England, as well as analysing responses to Freedom of Information requests that were sent to local authorities.

The paper’s key recommendation is that mandatory five yearly electrical checks should be introduced in the Social Rented Sector. There was overwhelming support for this proposal, with the majority of social housing providers already carrying out these checks. However, making them mandatory will:

  • provide clarity for housing providers and tenants around the requirements.
  • help address a sector-wide issue around access to properties for maintenance work.
  • improve safety standards as we move towards an increased role for electricity in the Government’s Future Homes Standard.

Following engagement with Lord Greenhalgh, Minister for Building Safety and Communities, Electrical Safety First has secured an agreement for the establishment of a review into electrical safety in the Social Rented Sector, to be steered by a working group of which we are a member. We’ll be presenting our paper and its recommendations at the next meeting.

You can download a copy of the paper here.


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