PDPLA Objects To Proposals For More Electrical Regulations
A working group has recommended that landlords should be required by law to arrange safety checks of the electrical installation in private rented sector residential properties. Whilst it is imperative that all properties offered should be safe, the PDPLA have objected to this specific proposal on the grounds that it simply creates work for electricians, costs for landlords which will inevitably be passed to their poor tenants yet does little to actually improve electrical safety.
Our response ran as follows:
Too many electricians use the EICR as a job creation scheme. Where an installation is not to the very latest standards they suggest costly upgrades that only marginally increase safety. Electricians play a key role in defining the standards and regularly raise them. They must in part be motivated by the work generated for their industry by regular changes to standards. An example would be consumer units. If you upgraded your unit following your electricians advice over the last few years you would have upgraded from no RCD to single RCD to dual RCD to a metal enclosure. Each change could cost hundreds of pounds.
These measures will increase costs for many landlords especially those with limited understanding eager to keep tenants safe. These costs will be passed on to tenants. There is a desperate shortage of property affordable to the poor. This will make the situation worse and increase homelessness.
We are not convinced that there is sufficient evidence that these measures will reduce accidents, fires etc sufficiently to justify the great expense that will be incurred by good landlords with reasonably safe property.
Higher risk property such as larger HMOs require a licence and that requires them to have a EICR anyway.
High voltage electricity is dangerous- the only way to make properties 100% safe from its risks is to remove it from the properly. Ever increasing regulations and standards only pretend to make us safe.