New tougher electrical safety standards to protect private tenants electrical safety standards

Recommended new safety measures to better protect private tenants by reducing the risk of electric shocks or fires caused by electrical faults were published for consultation today (17 February 2018) by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler.

Five yearly mandatory electrical installation safety checks for all private rented properties and safety certificates for tenants, to prove checks and repair work have been completed, are part of a package of independent recommendations to improve safety.

The government is also consulting on how best to enforce the strengthened safety regime along with whether landlords who do not comply should face tough penalties of up to £30,000.

As well as making homes safer for tenants, electrical installation improvements benefit the landlord as a material improvement to their properties, helping prevent fires which could cause costly and significant damage.

According to the most recent data tenants in the private rented sector face a higher risk of electrical shock and fires caused by electrical faults in their homes compared to social housing tenants.

To address this the government introduced new powers in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to set and enforce tougher electrical safety standards in the private rented sector and established a working group of independent experts from industry and a range of other sectors to develop recommendations.

This builds on other measures already introduced or planned to improve the quality of private rented properties including fines of up to £30,000 for rogue landlords and agents and banning orders for the worst offenders.

The government is also supporting a Private Member’s Bill which will require all landlords to ensure their properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action.

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