Tenants to get more Rights

Tenants will get tougher rights against law-breaking landlords from next week as new rules on hazardous homes come into force - together with £30,000 penalty fines.

On April 1, new laws mean all existing rented properties in England will need an electrical safety inspection every five years by law.

The inspection, known as an EICR - or electrical installation condition report - will highlight any urgent work that must be carried out to ensure the property is safe.

Landlords that fail to comply or have necessary repairs undertaken could face fines of up to £30,000.

The law was partly triggered by the death of Thirza Whittall in 2008, a mother who was electrocuted whilst stepping into her bathtub due to an unidentified electrical fault. An inquest heard the property had not been checked since 1981.

A prevention of future deaths report was later issued by a coroner in 2019 following the death of Professor John Alliston.

Prof Alliston was found face down in the garden of a privately rented property he was sharing with his wife.

He had been electrocuted by a cable that had become live due to a fault. The coroner later called for mandatory electrical safety checks in rented homes.

Chief executive of Electrical Safety First, Lesley Rud, said: "Renters will be better protected from the dangers posed by electricity under these new laws.

"Whilst many good landlords already carry out checks, some do not. These checks will help prevent tragedies like those involving John Alliston and Thirza Whittall from happening to others."

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new regulations with powers to enforce £30,000 fines where landlords do not comply.


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