By Mike White of Martin & Co lettings agency
The Electrical Safety Council have just published a new Landlords’ guide to electrical safety entitled “Safe to Let?”
At over 50 pages long, hardly an electrifying read (ouch!) you may think but it’s something all Landlords and Tenants should read or ignore at their peril. Basically, it tells us what we’ve always known, landlords can happily electrocute themselves in their own homes without any comeback (except for death or personal injury of course) but they’ll go to gaol if they do it to their tenants. And, quite possibly negate any insurance cover they hold for such.
So what do you do; landlords ensure you have the whole house and all appliances checked at the recommended periodic intervals. At Martin & Co., we recommend the checks should be carried out upon each change of tenancy or every five years, whichever is sooner, which is in line with ESC recommendations. Why every time a tenancy changes? Because, unfortunately, you have no absolute certainty of knowing your previous tenant hasn’t “adjusted” anything. If you’re a tenant, ask to see the relevant certificates and be wary if none are forthcoming.
Landlords often say to us, “But this is
only a recommendation, it’s not mandatory” (unlike the annual gas safety checks of course). Our response is quite simple……….”At the end of the day, the choice is yours but so is the responsibility and you’ll forgive us for not coming to visit you in Prison”.
Once the lettings industry becomes fully regulated (it’s only a matter of time) then the debate will move onto some other topic because this will all become mandatory. In the meantime, make sure your property is safe and use only properly qualified and registered electricians to undertake the checks.
For more information or a complimentary copy of the “Safe to Let” guide please call Martin & Co., on 01603 766860 at 13 St Giles Street Norwich.