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Private sector tenants could be at risk from flawed regulations

September 30, 2015 featured image

Your customers are often left in the dark when it comes to laws and regulations surrounding electrical inspections and PAT testing. 

A new report published by charity Electrical Safety First shows that tenants in the private rented sector maybe at risk from new regulations which completely ignore mandatory electrical inspections and PAT Testing within their properties.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 kicks in on October 1st in a bid to standardise and clarify the responsibilities of landlords when it comes to installing CO alarms to protect residents. Existing rules meant that the owners of a property built prior to June 1992 were not legally obliged to have smoke alarms installed.

For information on the Carbon Monoxide / Smoke alarm regulations Click Here

Despite this however, the new regulations have completely failed to include electrical safety, such as mandatory five yearly checks and PAT Testing, even though its inclusion received the support of Parliament.

Commenting on the move, Phil Buckle, director general at Electrical Safety First, said: “It is quite extraordinary that this [electrical safety] has been overlooked, given that electricity is responsible for almost half of all domestic fires in Great Britain – with an estimated cost of £1 billion.

“Given the huge expansion in the privately rented sector, where a third of properties fail to meet basic standards, concerns around electrical safety can only increase. So we were deeply concerned when our call for regular electrical checks in privately rented accommodation was omitted from these new regulations.”

It had been hoped that, alongside gas safety regulations, that mandatory five yearly electrical checks of electrical installations, together with PAT Testing any electrical appliances within the property. Electrical Safety First had also been campaigning for the introduction of Residual Current Devices (RCDs), which help prevent a fatal electric shock, to be installed in all privately rented homes.

Do your bit!

If you have a customer base that includes properties in the rented sector, advise your landlord contacts of their legal responsibilities – failure to comply could see them clock-up hefty fines of £5,000 and a lot worse!

In the meantime, keep yourself up-to-date with the latest training or look to expand your horizons with a new course.

Click here to take a look at our full range of electrical courses, or here for our PAT Testing 2-day course.

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