More than 15% of all domestic fires in England and Wales and around 10% of all house fires in Scotland are caused by electrical faults, with appliance breakdowns and broken cables some of the leading causes of these catastrophes. The average year sees almost 8,000 electrical fires in the UK alone, with these leading to nearly 4,000 injuries and more than 30 deaths. Will these shocking figures compel you to get your electrical system checked out?
Landlords and letting agents
Landlords and letting agents are not currently required to carry out formal electrical safety tests on a regular basis for all types of households, although they do have some legal obligations. These include:
- Ensuring that the electrical installation in rented accommodation is safe when people move in to the property and that it meets Part P or Scottish Building Standards;
- Maintaining the electrical system in a safe condition for the duration of the tenancy;
- Ensuring all electrical appliances provided to tenants are safe, at least by ensuring that they have the CE marking; and,
- Arranging periodic inspections for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) every five years.
However, thanks to the work of the Council of Letting Agents (CLA), the Scottish Association of Landlords and a range of other organisations, landlords in Scotland will soon have to arrange mandatory electrical safety checks every five years. This is due to the Housing (Scotland) Act, which was passed in 2014 and is expected to be implemented from December this year.
Regardless, landlords are strongly recommended to carry out formal electrical tests in order to demonstrate that they comply with repair and maintenance obligations. CLA Policy Group Chair Amanda Wieworka said the CLA urges tenants to make sure letting agents have performed “full electrical safety checks” on their property.
Landlord emergency cover
Electrical emergency and breakdown cover is available as part of our landlord emergency cover service plan! Pay a low monthly fee and we will respond to your tenants’ electrical emergencies within 24 hours of the moment they get in touch with us – you can provide an outstanding service that will really impress your tenants without lifting a finger!
Homeowners are also legally required to ensure that all electrical work meets Part P or Scottish Building Standards, and if they fail to do so, their local authority could require them to alter or remove any non-compliant work.
It is also advisable for homeowners to:
- Arrange for a periodic electrical inspection to be performed every ten years;
- Stay electrical safe, such as by paying attention to fuse boxes that keep tripping, overloaded sockets, buzzing and crackling noises and burning smells; and
- Ensure all electrical equipment is used and maintained effectively.
Homeowners’ appliance and home emergency cover
Homeowners can stay safe with their domestic electricity supply by taking out our appliance cover or our home emergency cover. With appliance cover, you receive fast repairs and like-for-like replacements* when economical repairs are impossible, and with home emergency cover, you get rapid responses to electrical emergencies and breakdowns, so you can see an electrician just a few short hours after you contact us.
* Terms and conditions apply