Tougher electrical safety standards for rented properties north of the border are needed to protect private tenants, according to a leading campaigning body for electrotechnical trade in Scotland
Recent data revealed that tenants in the private housing sector were at a higher risk of electrical shocks and fires caused by electrical faults than those in social housing.
Darrell Matthews, managing director of SELECT, whose member companies account for over 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland, wants the government to introduce more stringent safety enforcement laws to bring all rented housing in Scotland up to the required standards.
He said: “Private landlord registration has been mandatory since 2004 and a robust application process is critical to keep the people of Scotland safe in privately rented accommodation.
“Our members operate to the highest standards of electrical installation and testing and firmly believe that the government should hold private landlords to the same exacting standards.”
Responding to a consultation paper on ‘landlord registration’, which recently took place by the Scottish government’s landlord registration team, Matthews said that he would like to see landlords required to submit written evidence that they have had electrical inspection and testing undertaken and that fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and operational.
He added: “The current ‘prescribed information’ makes no requirement on the landlord to declare the safety of the property being rented, so any change to this is a welcome improvement.
“We believe that this is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish government to put the safety of renters foremost, and ensure that properties being rented by private landlords have electrical installations of the highest standard.”