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Landlord Insurance/ electrical checks

A call by the Electrical Safety Council for tenanted property to have annual checks for the electrical circuits as well as for gas.

At the moment landlords just need to carry out regular checks on the wiring in the home, but have to carry out annual checks on the gas system (these are usually requirements endorsed on a landlord insurance policy wording). This requirement would add a few hundred pounds onto landlord's costs and no doubt would be reflected in rents.

Is it worth it? There are 3.28 million privately rented homes - and 7 times as many owner-occupied homes. The case mentioned involved a circumstance where the wiring hadn't been checked for 30 years! In theory it would be more sensible for every private dwelling house to have annual checks however electricity is less dangerous than gas and checks on a less frequent basis should suffice.

In offices, for instance, every electrical article has to be checked annually once it is a year old - and we have the ludicrous position where some cheap electrical goods are thrown out every year as it is cheaper to buy a new one than have a PAT. A visual examination of cables/ plugs by someone with a bit of common sense - to look for frayed wiring will remove 90%+ of any potential hazards without the need for a professional to check the wiring.

Overall, therefore, I feel that the additional costs do not warrant an annual inspection. Perhaps once every 5 years or so should be adequate.

For more information contact JB Portwood john.portwood#portwood.co.uk

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