Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Electrical Safety Campaign to improve safety in the Private Rented Sector

I have been campaigning for improved electrical safety in the private rented sector. Currently landlords are not required to have electrical safety certificates unlike Gas where they are required to be certificated as safe.

The law does state that 'electrical installations are safe at the beginning of any tenancy' under the 1985 Housing and Tenant Act. 

I have visited numerous properties where electrical installations are dangerous death traps. Often rented out to the most vulnerable in the most desperate of conditions, unwilling to complain, no understanding of the law, their rights or risks or how to deal with the danger and often housing young children with inquisitive fingers. It is shocking. An awful accident may well be preventable.

I have backed the Electrical Safety Council's call for RCD safety devices to be fitted in every rented property by law and that each property should have a mandatory Electrical Safety Certificate renewed every couple of years. Selective Licensing of Landlords inadequate because it does not allow for licences to include property improvement conditions such as an RCD box which trips out the current before it can flow through the person. Currently Hyndburn's landlord licensing scheme has a requirement for a Electrical Safety Certificate. Local landlords have stated they intend to legally challenge some of the conditions.

As part of the campaign for greater regulation of electrical safety the Electrical Safety Council have established an accreditation scheme. I intend to meet with the ESC to discuss the benefits of such a scheme.