Improving safety for social renters
A new policy paper, Improving Electrical Safety for Tenants in the Social Rented Sector in England, by leading consumer safety charity, Electrical Safety First, considers how ambiguous legislation can leave England’s social housing tenants at greater risk - and why the current ‘tenure lottery’ must be addressed.
It also includes the outcomes of the Charity’s recent consultation with the sector. Respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of a key proposal - mandatory, five yearly electrical checks for all social housing tenants.
By law, social landlords in England must ensure their housing stock is electrically safe. However, this is covered by a patchwork of legislation and ambiguity around how this is demonstrated. The Charity’s policy paper - developed in consultation with the sector – shows why specific legislation, like that introduced in the private rented sector, would remove confusion and clarify requirements.
“While many of the Local Authorities and Housing Associations who responded to us already undertake regular electrical checks of their properties, they consider a defined, legal requirement would provide clarity and bring electrical safety more into line with gas safety checks, which are undertaken each year”, explains Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First. “It was also felt that a legal requirement would help address the sector-wide problem of gaining access for safety reviews and repairs.”
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