Landlords are favouring cost over quality in electrical safety checks, leaving tenants at risk of fire hazards according to a report.
Landlords now paying as little as £50 for an inspection worth £500, says Clive Holland, a broadcaster on Fix Radio.
Under the guidelines of Section 5 of the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020, landlords are obligated to have their properties’ electrical installations checked every five years. However, reports from Landlord Licensing & Defence (LLD) revealed that the current Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) regime is failing to ensure tenant safety as landlords opt for cheaper alternatives when seeking inspection services, unwillingly putting their tenants at risk of fire hazards.
“The growing concern stands with the varying levels of experience and expertise among the electricians who are able to perform EICR inspections” says Clive Holland. “LLD revealed that not all electricians invest time and expertise to thoroughly test a property’s electrical installations, leading to poor safety assessments. Industry insights have revealed that some firms offer landlords inspections for as little as £80, when the price for a proper inspection will cost up to £500. While some electricians offer services at a much lower cost, these inspections often lack the attention to detail required to ensure tenant safety.”
According to Clive Holland, short courses are being offered to tradespeople which claim to make them eligible to perform minimum-level electrical safety tests. Not only does this create a pool of electricians unqualified to be registered as EICR competent, but it has also led to landlords unknowingly compromising their tenant safety in pursuit of saving money. The Institute of Engineering and Technology revealed that there is a systemic failure in the regulatory framework. Inadequate EICR safety inspections across various buildings are increasing the risk of fire incidents, and now local councils are acknowledging the issue and are taking steps to address the ongoing issue. “There is a demand for EICR certificates to be exclusively carried out by electricians registered with organisations such as NIC/EIC or NAPIT, all in the hope of avoiding landlords prioritising profits over public safety” Says Holland.
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