Sat, 4 February 2023

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By Dr Simon Kaye
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Ideal Queen's Speech: Time for a 5 yearly safety check on electrical appliances in the private rented sector

Ideal Queen's Speech: Time for a 5 yearly safety check on electrical appliances in the private rented sector

Electrical Safety First

2 min read Partner content

Why should such a Bill be introduced in the Queen’s Speech? Electrical Safety First believes the figures speak for themselves.

“My Government will introduce a Bill to protect the increasing numbers of people living in private rented sector (PRS) accommodation, by requiring mandatory, five yearly safety checks of the electrical installation of all PRS homes - and any electrical appliances provided with them.”

Given the continuing expansion of the PRS, which is currently estimated at 9 million and growing – latest figures  show 64% of all new households in England during 2013 – 2014 were privately rented - the lack of specific requirements around electrical safety needs to be urgently addressed. Particularly since a third of PRS properties fail to meet basic standards.

Sub-standard electrical installation work in homes can kill and seriously injure and electrical fires often bring a huge financial, as well as emotional, cost. Each week in the UK, one person dies from an electrical accident and well over a quarter of a million (350,000) are injured every year . Government figures also show that almost half of all  fires in UK homes – more than 20,000 each year – have an electrical origin   and an estimated cost of £1B per annum.

Research indicates that private tenants are almost twice as likely as owner occupiers or those in social housing, to be at risk from electricity . And our own investigations  found that three in ten landlords and 40% of renters do not know who is responsible for the electrical safety of their home.

Our proposals would benefit both landlords and tenants, as landlords can face significant financial risk from fires and invalidated insurance claims, if they fail to ensure electrical safety in their PRS accommodation.

Isn’t a five yearly electrical check for PRS properties a small price to pay to protect both people and properties?

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