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Private rental properties now “far safer” says charity

Private rental properties are now “far safer” than before thanks to recent legislation, according to the charity Electrical Safety First.

Since five-year mandatory checks were introduced in the private rental sector in England in 2020 some 7,000 issues have been uncovered.

Freedom of information requests, submitted by Electrical Safety First, found that a total of 6,863 electrical faults were recorded across 98 local authorities, giving an insight for the first time into the state of the electrics in England's private rental housing stock.


Of the 98 local authorities’ data analysed, the areas which identified the most faults and remedial work were Southampton, Kings Lynn & West Norfolk, Uttlesford, East Hertfordshire and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Faults across the whole of England could have been as high as 24,000 based on the data provided by 98 local authorities, which represents 27 per cent of local authorities.

Electrical Safety First believes the findings demonstrate the unquestionable success of the newly implemented electrical safety checks and their ability to identify and remedy electrical dangers that would otherwise have gone undetected, leaving occupiers at risk of serious electrical shock and fire. 

Under the law landlords are obligated to submit a failed condition report with secondary evidence of remedial work.

However, under the current laws in England these checks do not cover the social housing sector which accounts for around 4m households.

The charity believes a social housing safety vacuum has been created in England which remains the only nation within Great Britain not to implement five-yearly electrical safety checks for the social housing sector. 

Such checks are already in place for both the private rented sector and social rented sector in Scotland, whilst Wales has confirmed checks will be legally necessary for both sectors this December.

Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, says: “Our findings demonstrate how essential electrical safety checks are in identifying faults and preventing harm. In their first year alone, they have protected thousands of tenants from faults that could have caused serious injury and fire, and helped maintain the condition and safety of landlords properties.

“Such protections from electrical risk should also be afforded to those living in social housing. The millions of social renters in England deserve equal protection and it is time for five-yearly electrical safety checks to be extended to this housing sector. 

“Politicians and landlords should do all they can to ensure everyone in social housing can sleep safe at night without fear of electrical danger.”  

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    Decent landlords have always provided safe properties which decent tenants keep safe.

    Rogue tenants will continue to make properties unsafe and rogue landlords will continue to ignore the rules. With more tenants forced to go to rogue landlords when their credit rating is trashed, more tenants will be forced to live in unsafe properties.

    Another unintended consequence consequence

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    All these safe properties owned by decent landlords will soon be sold …. Then what ?

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    Exactly, knee jerk reaction to rogue landlords whom will continue to flout the law.
    I would be interested in the above figures which were deemed unsafe and which were not to current standards.
    With the new 18th addition I am now replacing fuse boxes in outbuildings that need to be metal and not plastic!
    More money making schemes for these poor electricians.

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    I agree that it would be interesting to know how many were deemed unsafe and also how many not to current standards. It seems properties are safer with regard to electrical problems but are they safer with regard to gas?

    There should be a current gas safety check and certificate and this should be done before the tenant enters the property but:-
    1. This seems to be something the landlord, who wishes to evict the tenant, can fix later (The Trecarrel case) by undertaking the gas safety check later after the tenant enters the property, which defeats the whole purpose of making it mandatory to undertake the check before the tenant enters. Hopefully this only applies in a very narrow situation.

    2. The landlord's gas safety check & certificate was made mandatory to protect the tenant, mainly from carbon monoxide (CO). Less than 2% of CO in the air can be deadly in less than three minutes. CO cannot be sensed using human senses. Yet there is no mandatory requirement for the gas safety check to use equipment to test the emissions from the gas appliance for CO. This is plainly wrong.

    3. HSE fails to enforce the lack of a gas safety check and certificate. Prosecutions for this failure amount to about 5 per year.


    They are all safe Stephanie, we all have to have gas boilers checked every year and have to have working co detectors, further more boiler flues are sealed, air in burnt gases out, they cannot leak into the home, with respect lady you don't know what you are talking about do you ?

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    I see you are involved with a charity concerned with CO poisoning. For sure the gas technician checks my combi balanced flue boilers for CO and CO2. Since they are room sealed they can't introduce Combustibles into the room. How many people for from accidentall poisoning in homes in the UK from main gas appliances ?


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