Third of rental properties have unsafe electrics
A disturbing new piece of research by charities Electrical Safety First and Shelter has found that a third of UK rental properties do not meet basic electrical safety standards, putting tenants at risk, and it has prompted calls for mandatory five year checks to ensure wiring and appliances are in good working order. Over a million electrical problems were reported last year, and there are concerns that tenants who raise issues are being evicted.
One of the most serious problems currently is faulty fuse boards, which according to ESF’s work, accounted for over 250 fire service call-outs last year in London alone. From January all fuse boards will either need to be made from, or housed in boxes constructed from fireproof materials.
Currently if you let a property to someone you are legally obligated to have a gas safety certificate carried out every year, but no such requirement for periodic inspections exists when it comes to the electrics. A landlord must ensure that any electrical installations and devices supplied such as washing machines are safe when a tenant moves in, and that they are well-maintained for the duration of the tenancy, but no-one is checking up on that. When you have houses with multiple occupancy, such as student lets, then a five-yearly inspection is required, but when it’s single or family occupancy, it is not.
Electrical Safety First has produced a list of recommendations for landlords that includes making sure a property has adequate RCD (Residual-Current Device) protection that disconnects circuits when the current becomes unbalanced, and only using registered electricians like Hall’s Electrical to carry out any work.
With almost four million people renting in the UK, can you put a price on safety? A full check would cost only around £100 followed by any necessary repairs. Spread over five years it’s not a major dent in any landlord’s income. Contact us on Bristol 01454 319722 or Swindon 01793 870877 for more information.