Here at landlordmoneysaving.com we regularly publish articles about how a proactive landlord can save money and boost profitability with some simple tips.
However, one organisation has revealed that it’s the inaction of many landlords which is exposing many of them to hefty fines and endangering the lives of 9million tenants by not conducting electrical safety checks.
Research has been carried out by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) which reveals that around a fifth of landlords have no idea that they are liable for fines for not undertaking adequate electrical safety.
This is a serious issue because the fines for not doing so range from £5,000 to £20,000 and the landlord may have their insurance invalidated for failing to follow their legal obligations.
Fines for landlords who ignore electrical safety
Every year in the UK, there are 350,000 serious injuries caused by electrical accidents and half of those are accidental house fires.
Now ESC, along with Shelter, is urging the Government to change the law to give tenants greater protection.
The study by ESC also found that tenants are more likely to experience a serious electrical shock in their home than homeowners would and the seven times more likely to be the victim of a house fire.
Now ESC is saying that unless landlords take drastic action they believe the situation will deteriorate further.
Who is responsible for electrical safety in a rented property?
However, the biggest issue is that no one appears to know who is responsible for electrical safety in a private rented property with around half of tenants and landlords admitting they had no idea who is responsible.
Landlords must, by law, ensure that the wiring and electrical installations in their properties are maintained in a safe condition.
Around 1.7 million tenants say they have reported concerns about electrical issues which landlords have either ignored or reacted too slowly to rectifying.
Tighter guidelines for landlords proposed
The director-general of ESC, Phil Buckle, said: “We would like to see tighter guidelines on electrical safety for landlords and this needs to be addressed now since the number of non-professional landlords is increasing every day.
“Landlords must understand they are not only putting lives at risk but are facing serious financial loss through invalidated insurance or fines if they don’t act on their obligations.
“Too many landlords are ignorant of their responsibilities.”
ESC says that tenants also have a role to play and should maintain electrical items they bring into the property and report any hazards to their landlord.
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers confirmed: “All insurers expect landlords to comply with current laws and regulations with regard to eligible safety and failure to do so may void their policy. Electrical work should be carried out by qualified professional.”