20% of private tenants have reported an electrical fault in their rental property that has either been ignored, or not repaired immediately.1
A recent study by the Electrical Safety Council has found that around 1.7 million tenants have told their letting agent or landlord of an electrical fault, and about 1.3 million are currently waiting for these faults to be fixed.1
The research also found that landlords could face significant financial risks, such as fines and invalidated insurance. Landlord fines have grown from £5,000 to £20,000, however many landlords, around 300,000, do not know that fines exist at all.1
Landlords Face Fines over Poor Electrics
The Electrical Safety Council are raising awareness the need to protect tenants, claiming that the current situation is affecting their safety. They revealed that electrical accidents cause over 350,000 serious injuries every year, and trigger over half of all accidental house fires.1
They say that private tenants are most in danger, and are seven times more likely to suffer a house fire.1
They claim that this problem has occurred from a lack of knowledge over who is responsible for electrical safety in private rental homes. Around half of landlords and tenants stated that they did not know.1
Legally, it is the landlord’s responsibility to safeguard electrical installations and ensure wiring is maintained in a safe condition throughout the lease period.
The Electrical Safety Council advises landlords to have electrical appliances and installations checked every five years by a registered electrician, and conduct regular visual checks themselves.
Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, Phil Buckle, says: “We’ve found that many landlords are ignorant of their responsibilities.
“In the long term, we’d like to see tighter guidelines for landlords on electrical safety, but with the number of non-professional landlords increasing every day, we also need to address this now.
“We need all landlords to understand that they are not only putting people’s lives at risk, but they could also face serious financial loss through fines or invalidated insurance if they don’t act on their existing obligations.”1
Tenants can aid themselves by maintaining any electrical items that they bring into the property, and by reporting risks instantly.