House Proud Podcast.
The ESC has published some research in partnership with think tank LGiU. It tackles poor standards in the private rented sector (PRS) and calls for central government to cut red tape and give councils the freedom they need to respond flexibly to the needs of their communities, which includes introducing compulsory landlord licencing.
ESC (Electrical Safety Council) reminds landlords of their responsibilies
As the number of people becoming landlords soars, with 13% of UK adults considering leasing out a property in the near future, research from the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has found that misunderstandings between landlords and tenants over responsibilities for safety are exposing millions of people to life-threatening electrical dangers. A Landlords Certificate is one way to overcome this.
Electricity kills at least one person every week in the home and almost 1,000 are seriously injured every day. Electricity causes around 20,000 fires a year - almost half of all accidental UK house fires. The ESC has found that of all the people receiving an electric shock, private tenants are disproportionately affected: with 16% of the UK population living in private rented properties, they account for 20% of UK adults receiving an electric shock.
The ESC is concerned that the rise in inexperienced landlords – many of whom are finding it easier to rent out their property than sell it – will further compromise safety. More than one fifth of all private tenants (21%) already report concerns with the electrical safety in their home and three quarters of private tenants (75%) can’t recall discussing electrical safety with their landlord.
The ESC’s research also found that landlords and tenants are confused about their responsibilities whereby three in ten landlords and two-fifths of renters do not know who is responsible for electrical safety in their rented properties (29% and 40% respectively), a satisfactory Landlords Certificate should be obtained at regular intervals.
By law, landlords must ensure electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. And tenants should feel obliged to flag electrical problems as soon as they appear, as well as maintain any electrical items they bring into the house, the most effective way of doing this is to have a Landlords Certificate, Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on a regular basis.
A landlord is responsible for maintaining the electrical installation in their property and for having it inspected and tested (Landlords Certificate) at least every 10 years or on change of occupancy (which ever comes first). Before a tenant moves into a property or signs a tenancy agreement, a responsible landlord should make sure the electrics have been tested for electrical safety and if there are faults, to get them corrected by a qualified electrician.
In response to the statistics, the ESC has produced a simple guide for landlords and a checklist for tennants outlining how to ensure the electrical safety of a property.
Always ensure your electrics are regularly checked, maintained and kept in a safe condition by a competent electrician, Landlords Certificates can be a way to satisfy this.
Click here for further details on electrical safety in the home.
Home Truths for Landlords and Tenants
ESC research has found that landlords are exposing themselves to significant financial risks, from fines and invalidated insurance, through not acting on their electrical safety obligations. Ignoring their responsibilities means landlords are also putting millions of UK private tenants at risk of serious accident or fire.
The ESC found 1.7 million private renters have reported electrical concerns that were either ignored by their landlord or acted on too slowly, and 1.3 million renters are currently waiting for electrical issues to be resolved. No wonder that more than 2 million private tenants have expressed concern about the electrical safety of their home.