We recently submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on a ‘New Deal for Tenants – A Rented Sector Strategy’ which asked for views on improving accessibility and standards across the whole rented sector. Luckily, tenants are already protected with regular electrical safety checks in Scotland which provide vital safeguards for a range of risks in the home. However, we’re concerned that tenants may be left behind in the transition to Net Zero, and the strategy presents an opportunity to address some of the barriers tenants can face to Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption.
It's vitally important that everyone has access to safe charging points for EVs to reduce risky charging practices. We’ve found evidence of people using multiple extension leads from a main domestic socket and leaving these plugged in when it’s raining to charge their EV, which increases the risk of electric shock and fire.
Currently, those living in rented homes require permission from their landlord to have an EV charge point installed and the landlord does not need to give this. In fact, we’ve heard examples from our consumer helpline of landlords refusing these requests. In one case in Aberdeen, the tenant requested permission but had multiple obstacles put in their way. In the end, their landlord refused the request.
This is particularly concerning given that 38% of homes in Scotland are rented. The Scottish Government has also set ambitious targets to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030, meaning that more people will be switching to EVs and will require access to charging points. Recent research highlights that the majority of drivers want to charge their vehicle at home
The Scottish Government’s new Rented Sector Strategy presents an opportunity to remove some of the barriers to accessing safe EV charging. For example, the private residential tenancy agreement could be amended to make requests for installs easier for tenants. The social rented sector has a similar tenancy agreement which could be changed in the same way.
As we transition to net zero and decarbonise our transport, it’s important that the Scottish Government continue to consider electrical safety in all their policies and plans.
For more information about our work around Electric Vehicles, please see our report, ‘Plugging into the Future’ and you can read our full submission to the consultation here Consultation Response | ’A New Deal for Tenants’
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