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Poll reveals worrying attitudes to rented property safety

Research finds that 20% of landlords and tenants polled were more worried about tidiness than gas or electrical safety.

Nigel Lewis

Almost one in five tenants and landlords admit they are more concerned about having a tidy home than making sure the electrics are safe, a poll has revealed.

When asked what they prioritised to keep their homes safe, only 15% of private renters cited checking their electrics. Gas safety came out top, with 42% believing that having the gas checked was the number one priority.

The poll also found that renters don’t fully understand their rights and landlords’ responsibilities when it comes to electrics; 44% did not know that landlords have a duty of care to check these every five years.

The poll, commissioned by electrical testing firm Hexo Electical Testing, also quizzed private landlords and found that 90% have the electrics checked within their properties, although only 37% met the new requirements for five-yearly checks.

While 28% cited gas safety as the most important check, followed by the electrics (21%), this was the same number as those who placed having a tidy property at the top of their list.

£30k fine

Regulations that came into force in June 2020 require private landlords to carry out electrical safety checks before renting out their homes – an EICR test – at least every five years. If they can’t provide an up-to-date EICR certificate they face a fine of up to £30,000.

The poll shines a worrying spotlight on the public’s knowledge of electrical hazards in the home, a Hexo spokesman says. “A check every five years to ensure that your electrical systems are healthy and in full working order will ensure that any issues are picked up before they cause a problem in the home and risk the safety of tenants.”

November 11, 2021

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