Government urged to introduce mandatory five-year checks on electrical installations for private landlords

Landlords should have a mandatory responsibility to check the electrical installations on private rental properties every five years, a working group on electrical safety has told the Government.

The group, chaired by officials from the Department for Communities and Local Government and members from interest groups such as ARLA Propertymark and the Residential Landlords Association, concluded that legislation would be necessary to improve electrical safety standards.

This would bring the private rental sector in line with current regulations for Houses in Multiple Occupation.

However, safety campaigners were unhappy that the Government won’t be taking immediate action.

Phil Buckle, chief executive at Electrical Safety First, said the Government should act on the recommendations straight away, particularly given the safety concerns raised by the Grenfell Tower fire.

He said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Government is not recommending policy change.

“The tragic fire at Grenfell House made it clear that more has to be done in order to protect people who are living in rented accommodation. Electrical Safety First has long been campaigning for the introduction of mandatory five-yearly checks on electrical installations in privately rented homes.

“Currently, there is an ‘expectation’ on landlords to keep electrical installations safe, but no legal obligation. This means that the electrics and appliances contained within rented properties could go unchecked for many years, presenting a serious risk of fire”.

“This position has been shared amongst the stakeholder community, and is in line with what has been introduced in Scotland and is now being pursued in Wales. Without regular mandatory checks, Electrical Safety First believes that the number of fires caused by electricity in the private rented sector will only get worse.”

A Working Group report is typically compiled by Government officials and interested parties, but a response is rarely given immediately. Instead, the Government may respond at a later date with a policy statement or a new consultation on the proposed changes.


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  1. Will

    As a landlord I do not have any real problems with electrical checks at 5 year intervals and I do this anyway. I  do have problems with the plethora of other nonsense such as  selective licensing and other money making schemes capitalised on by ROGUE councils like Croydon with their borough-wide scheme to raise money. Tenants probably think licensing is a good thing because they perceive it is charged to landlords but ultimately THEY all pay in increased rents.

  2. GeorgeHammond78

    Always amazed me that it’s not mandatory and also the bonkers rule that you don’t need a CO monitor unless there’s solid fuel appliances present.

    We refuse to take an instruction unless the consumer unit  is of a modern type. But we’re not electricians and such subjectivity is by no means a failsafe. Trouble with the ESC is that they update their Regs every 5 mins, so unless you’ve had a new metal cased consumer unit fitted within the last 12 months, your system will fail the inspection. So if it does become mandatory, some commonsense needs to be applied (and for politicians commonsense is usually left at the door of the house of commons).


    1. Will

      Whilst you are right that metal clad consumer units are now required to comply with the latest regs the question is whether the property is safe. If your sparks are suggesting it is not safe as it has an older style 3 year old consumer unit that does not meet current regs should not fail. I do think electrical tests/reports need to be reduced down to the same type of report as a Gas Safety and not a full and detailed report.

  3. TheLettingsGuy

    About time this became mandatory – it is a no brainer. 

  4. artiglio29

    Why is it only the private rented sector that needs additional regulation, all and any such regulation should be applied equally to social housing as well.


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