The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee in Wales has given support for regular electrical safety checks in the private rented sector…
Charity Electrical Safety First has been working with a coalition of stakeholders to highlight the issue of electrical safety and to press the Welsh government to take action. The group pushed for a mandatory, five-yearly check of electrical installations in all privately rented properties. Additionally, the charity wants to see residual current devices (RCDs) installed, which prevent electric shocks.
Now, a new report on the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill has revealed support from the authorities for regular electrical safety checks in the private rented sector in Wales.
Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical Safety First said: “Almost 70 per cent of domestic fires in Wales arise through electricity.
“And around a million – that is a third of the Welsh population – rent privately. With over a third of PRS homes failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard and Welsh Government statistics indicating that almost a fifth of privately rented homes are considered to be unfit for habitation, electrical safety needs to be urgently addressed”.
He added: “The Renting Homes Bill is a second chance to make these fundamental safety checks a legal requirement.
“We were disappointed that they were not incorporated into Wales’ First Housing Act, last year but this is an opportunity to ensure that private tenants in Wales have the same protection as those in Scotland – where we led the campaign for mandatory electrical checks in the PRS.”
The private rental sector has doubled in Wales since 2001, at which time there were approximately 90,000 dwellings. A total of 22 per cent of the housing stock in the capital Cardiff are private rentals.