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Mandatory electrical checks proposed for private housing

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee has recommended that private sector landlords be required to undertake a mandatory five-yearly check of electrical installations in their properties.

The recommendation is detailed in the just-released CLG Select Committee report into England’s private rented sector (PRS).

It calls on government to introduce a requirement for a competent person to comprehensively review installations every five years, with a visual check being undertaken on change of tenancy. To achieve this, it asks government to liaise with the electrical industry to establish suitable certification.

“We are delighted that the committee has made this recommendation,” said ESC director general Phil Buckle. “We have, for some time now, been lobbying hard for such mandatory regulation in the PRS.

“The government’s own data shows that 21 per cent of England’s PRS contains category 1 hazards – the most dangerous risk to health and safety under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System.

“Independent research suggests that PRS tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock than owner-occupiers, or those in social housing. Government statistics also show that over half of all accidental fires in GB homes (more than 20,000 annually) are caused by electricity.

“With the PRS expanding significantly over the past decade – now comprising over 16.5 per cent of all households and growing – it is essential that electrical safety in the sector is properly regulated.”

The ESC has identified other key changes which could help improve conditions for PRS tenants and assist landlords to engage in best practice.

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