Electrical safety warning for landlords

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has warned that landlords are exposing millions of tenants to dangers and could face huge fines.

The ESC found 1.7 million private renters have reported electrical concerns that were either ignored by their landlord or acted on too slowly, and 1.3 million renters are currently waiting for electrical issues to be resolved.

The ESC study hoped to gauge landlord’s awareness of the fact fines for failing to maintain adequate electrical safety have risen from £5,000 to £20,000, but instead found a fifth – around 300,000 private landlords – still believed there were no fines at all. Added to this, many landlords did not know their insurance may be invalidated if they fail to follow their obligations.

Electrical accidents cause more than 350,000 serious injuries each year and cause more than half of all accidental house fires. However, tenants are most at risk – they are more likely to experience a serious electric shock than home owners and may be up to seven times more likely to experience a house fire. The ESC is concerned that unless landlords take action, the situation will deteriorate further.

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, said: “We’ve found that many landlords are ignorant of their responsibilities. In the long term, we’d like to see tighter guidelines for landlords on electrical safety but with the number of non-professional landlords increasing every day, we also need to address this now.

“We need all landlords to understand that they are not only putting people’s lives at risk, but they could also face serious financial loss through fines or invalidated insurance if they don’t act on their existing obligations.”

By law, landlords must ensure electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. The ESC recommends landlords should have electrical appliances and installations checked at least every five years by a registered electrician, along with carrying out regular visual checks themselves.


How To Avoid Deposit Disputes

1. Prepare from the start of the tenancy
Ensure you have a clear, concise AST agreement. Conduct a thorough inventory, check-in and check-out reports, take photographs, and keep invoices and receipts. 

2. Remember dispute Adjudicators are impartial
You must provide evidence to support your claim to the deposit so make sure its relevant and robust. An Adjudicator will make a decision based solely on the evidence you submit.

3. Allow for fair wear and tear
Wear and tear is a subjective topic.

4. Talk to your tenants
Talking through any issues or concerns with your tenants is one of the most effective ways of avoiding a dispute. Explain their obligations as set out in the tenancy agreement and your reasons for making any deductions

Will the Budget help Landlords?


Landlords should be treated as small businesses and Stamp Duty must be reviewed along with other barriers to investment
Budget must boost Private Rented Sector.

The first quarter of 2012 has seen demand in the residential sales market pick up significantly.