Call for more stringent controls on electrical safety in privately rented accommodation

Darrell Matthews

The campaigning body for Scotland’s electrotechnical trade industry has called for more stringent controls over the vital electrical inspection and testing performed by private landlords prior to registration.

Responding to a Scottish Government consultation paper on Landlord Registration, which recently took place by the Scottish Government’s Landlord Registration Team, SELECT said the move is needed to keep private renters safe.

Darrell Matthews, managing director of SELECT, whose member companies account for over 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland, said: “Private landlord registration has been mandatory since 2004 and a robust application process is critical to keep the people of Scotland safe in privately rented accommodation.

“Our members operate to the highest standards of electrical installation and testing and firmly believe that the government should hold private landlords to the same exacting standards.”

One of the key areas in the consultation relates to a proposal to expand the “prescribed information” which landlords have to provide when letting a property. The proposal, as worded in the consultation, is that landlords provide information that “a property meets the specific requirements relating to gas, electrical, and carbon monoxide safety.”

SELECT has responded by stating that landlords should be required to submit written evidence that they have had electrical inspection and testing undertaken and that fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and operational.

Mr Matthews said: “The current Prescribed Information makes no requirement on the landlord to declare the safety of the property being rented, so any change to this is a welcome improvement.

“We believe that this is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish Government to put the safety of renters foremost, and ensure that properties being rented by private landlords have electrical installations of the highest standard.”

SELECT has over 1250 member companies who collective turnover is around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.

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