New research, commissioned by safety charity Electrical Safety First, suggests that landlords and letting agents may be putting their student tenants’ lives at risk, by failing to fix serious safety hazards.
CFOA is concerned at the findings of the research, which found that many landlords and letting agents ignored safety concerns reported to them, such as exposed wiring, repeatedly tripping fuse boxes, overheating appliances, and damp or flooding around electrics. Failure to act to resolve these issues could leave tenants at risk from electrical fires, electric shock or even electrocution. Electrical Safety First is calling for mandatory electrical safety checks every five years in privately rented accommodation, and a visual inspection when the tenancy changes hands.
The research, carried out by the National Union of Students for Electrical Safety First, found that a worrying 37% of landlords and letting agents didn’t fix exposed wiring reported to them, 35% didn’t resolve issues of damp or water around the electrics, while scorching around sockets and light fittings was ignored by 30% of landlords. Over a quarter (26%) of the tenants surveyed had reported constant tripping of the fuse box which was not dealt with, and 23% of landlords did not resolve problems with broken, damaged or overheating appliances supplied with the property.
Andy Reynolds, Electrical Safety Lead at the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) said: “Landlords and letting agents have a legal – and a moral – duty to keep electrical installations in proper working order, and to ensure that any electrical appliances supplied with a property are safe. Failure to do so could place their tenants at risk of injury or even death, and their property at risk from fire.”
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