The Communities and Local Government Committee report The Private Rented Sector has included a recommendation for regular electrical wiring inspections in rented homes.
The first report following the committee’s inquiry states that private rented properties “should be required to have a full wiring check every five years and a visual wiring check on change of tenancy”. BEAMA said it endorsed this recommendation and urged the government to work with all relevant industry bodies to implement the proposal.
Inspections at each change of tenancy and every five years would help identify potentially lethal faults.
The report acknowledges concerns in the electrical industry that a large number of rented properties have potentially unsafe wiring installations, meaning there is an increased risk of lethal shocks and fires.
This is in line with research carried out by BEAMA, which showed that installers are finding wiring installations over 20 years old in more than a quarter of domestic properties. The research also showed that around 30 per cent of domestic Electrical Installation Condition Report inspections identify ‘Danger Present’ and need immediate remedial action.
Regular inspections would serve to identify faults in the installation before the safety of tenants is compromised.
The CLG Committee’s inquiry was triggered by the growth and diversification of the rented sector over the past decade. This growth means that without action to ensure electrical safety, more people may be at risk of injury from unsafe wiring. BEAMA said its members would offer support to landlords with product guidance, working with other industry bodies including the Electrical Safety Council and Electrical Contractors Association.
BEAMA will be pressing CLG to adopt this proposal as soon as possible to prevent lives being put at risk. BEAMA said it would continue to campaign for electrical safety to sit high on the government’s agenda and added that all relevant organisations should do the same.