Houses of Parliment are currently debating new Legislation regarding the PRS housing market.
Rules have Already been in place with the [ Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985] imposing landlord’s maintenance obligations to keep the Electrical Installation safe and in good working order.
The Institute of Electrical Engineers (I.E.E) recommends from the date of a new installation a minimum of 10 years , (too long, IMO) but the Electrical Safety Council now recommend every 5 Years , or change of Tenancy.
Obviously , if you are changing tenants every 6 months this would soon become expensive , and as its only at the moment, a recommendation, its rarely done anyway. 🙂
Decent Landlords are likely to do the above , often if a high turnaround in change of occupancy is the norm , (say Students) a cheaper ‘visual only’ check is often used.
This is often called the ‘drive by inspection’ but in my opinion, if you have had a Inspection report done in 5 years or less, unless the tenants have wreaked the installation , either by physical damage or say overheating of the sockets due to overloading them , a visual check will pick these problems up .
And also its using a bit of common sense, if the house has been trashed, with no regard to the fixtures and fittings, it’s likely the electrical components’ have suffered also, so a more thorough examination, with some basic testing would be prudent.
Reputable letting agents , would normally do this already, it’s in their interests as well as their clients who own the property to have decent tenants, they tend to be long term lets in houses which are modern and presentable, and subsequently looked after, by both parties.
The proposed new law applies more I think to Private Landlords’, who rent houses in a bad state, spending as least as possible to maximise profits.
If you are one of these tenants in such a house, the electrical installation can be often out of date and unsafe, but with the Defective Premises Act 1972 , if you are injured by a defective electrics, they are liable and could be sued.
I know in a real world terms, a lot of tenets can be reluctant to complain to their Private Landlords’ for fear of reprisals, and therefore are often reticent to ‘rock the boat’ as such, this law , if passed would ensure they would have to comply, just as they do with the Gas certificates.
If a new law is passed in Parliament , at least it will help remedy this problem ,which most defiantly does exist, and for any decent Letting agents or Landlords’ it’s not likely to be a major concern as they do it anyway.
Read all about it here 🙂