A report from a Government backed safety council reveals that misunderstandings between private landlords and tenants can result in people being exposed to danger from electrical appliances.
It is no secret that electrical problems are one of the main factors in landlord insurance claims from landlords, and are of course a main contributor to house fires. The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) say many problems arise because of confusion between the tenant and landlord over who is responsible for maintaining electrical appliances.
The ESC research involved interviewing hundreds of landlords and tenants and in many cases the results were surprising. 30% of landlords said they were not sure which electrical appliances they were responsible for ensuring the safety of, while the same question to tenants revealed 40% were not sure. The report went on to say that 1 in 5 tenants interviewed had reported faulty devices to their landlord and that 4 out of 5 could not recall discussing electrical safety with their landlord at the beginning of their tenancy.
The fact that 3 out of 10 landlords are unsure about where responsibility lies for electrical appliances in undoubtedly a concern and the ESC believe the figure represents the number of “amateur” landlords coming into the sector. An “amateur” landlord is, typically, someone who cannot sell their home and so has decided to rent it out. A spokesman for the council said: “It is certainly true to say private tenants are disproportionately affected: with 16 per cent of the UK population living in private rented properties, they account for 20 per cent of UK adults receiving an electric shock.”
It is imperative that new landlords acquaint themselves quickly with their legal obligations when it comes to health and safety issues. A complete list of legislation requirements can be found on Government web sites as well as those organisations that specialise in representing landlords.