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Electrical risk to tenants because of rental reform delays

Renters are being placed at unnecessary risk due to a delay in reforms that would allegedly give them greater protection, it’s been claimed.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 which was previously set to come into force this summer has been delayed six months following an announcement by the Welsh Government.

The delay means laws relating to dangerous electrics will not come into force until December this year, leaving tenants in both the private and social rented sectors at unnecessary risk, a charity insists.

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The statement comes after Electrical Safety First published a first of its kind investigation showing that the same safety laws in England for private renters led to thousands of dangerous faults being identified in rented homes across the country in its first year since implementation.

Electrical faults identified across England included hazards which pose an immediate risk to the tenant, including access to live wires and plug sockets that could cause fire and electric shocks.

Wales has the oldest housing stock in the UK, with the proportion of dwellings in the private rental sector rising considerably.

As a result, the charity believes renters in Wales could be at greater risk from electrical hazards in the home and the delay to the introduction of the legislation leaves renters at unnecessary and avoidable risk.

Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, comments: “This unnecessary delay in the law has left hundreds of thousands of renters across Wales facing potential dangers in their own homes. Wales remains the only nation in Britain yet to implement five-yearly electrical safety checks for private renters. The delay to this vital change in the law will leave them at unnecessary risk. We urge the Welsh Government to press ahead with the introduction of the law without any further delay.”

The charity is also urging landlords in Wales to comply with the forthcoming changes to the law, regardless of the government’s delay.

Under the new laws, landlords or their agents for both private and social rented properties will have to undertake electrical safety checks of their property once every five years.

The check, otherwise known as a PIT or periodic installation and testing, will have to be carried out by a qualified individual, such as a registered electrician, who will assess the safety of the electrical installation at the property.

A grace period for compliance of one year will begin from the new date of implementation of the law in December, by which landlords have the time to carry out the checks to comply. Landlords pr agents who fail to comply with the law face renters being legally permitted to withhold rent payments.

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    Were there thousands of homes with faulty electrics ? I know of electricians that were fitting new consumer units completely un necessarily, ripping off some landlords .

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    As an electrician I wouldn't disagree with your statement. I would say thats one example of upgrades to the 18th edition standards that weren't retrospectively required by law.

    However BS7671 can be a very onerous standard to meet and in reality a lotwhat is considered dangerous under BS7671 is actually just common sense safe that we have lived with for multi decades without issue.

    Electricians legitimately pointing out deviations that cant be seen and don't affect the consumers ability to use a plug or switch, often bear the brunt of unhappy customers claiming we are ripping them off. When in fact we are just complying with OTT regulation. But we are accountable.

    One of the reasons I stopped doing EICRs for landlords early on in the gov's program.

    Too much aggro for an honest man.

    Any of this sounding a little similar to the landlord game we in??!

     
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    Saul, I have used the same electrician for more than 10 yrs now, well qualified, good at his job and totally trust worthy, he's checked all 16 of my properties and has not replaced 1 consumer unit many of which are 25 yrs old now.

     
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    Are there millions of owner occupiers in Wales facing the same Danger. Or is it only Private Renters.

  • George Dawes

    Poor wales , lovely people, lovely country, awful politicians

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    Another woke charity ! Unfortunately lve met a few bent electricians, l lost patience with the last one, and recently went to court, obtaining compensation.

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    How many private houses have regular electrical safety checks?!
    I recently changed my mother's consumer board from old fashioned fuse wire to circuit breakers. She did not believe me when I told her that she would not be able to rent out her property with that fuse board as it was considered dangerous.

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    Richard, All licensed HMO’s of every kind have Electrical Safety checks by law for years and renewed every 5 year. I have had them done over again & again, file boxes full of them, what are they taking about delay in reforming have they been in a deep sleep. So the answer is tens of thousands if not millions.

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    I believe it’s the Customer is dangerous not the electric. I have seen & suffered the consequences of some of their actions, ripping the plug from the socked by the lead, I had to replace 10 crab tree switched socket outlets in a new house I had built a few years earlier all smashed, they also put a No 14, 50mm screw across the Consumer Unit to use a welder too powerful for the System, some of the 2.5 ring mains had to be replaced because of over heating, the wires were more like high tensile steel that copper wire.

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    To honest all of mine have been changed during this last 10 years even though I had some previously installed modern at the time the pop out type. All of mine are now min trip switch breakers plus RCD’s expensive business like £350. / £400. per box. I think its only a matter of time before we are required to re-wire, like before when they were lead cables, then they were rubber covering with green earth, then PVC black / red & earth yellow/ green earth, about 12 years ago colour code changed again to Blue & Brown & earth so they’ll know instantly what the age your wiring is within limits, just an observation.

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    Just add Residual Circuit Breakers are a god send by comparison to the previous PME System if you were familiar with that.

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    Micheal, residual current devices ( breakers etc)

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