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Electricians want tougher buy to let safety testing

Scotland’s trade body for electricians wants the government to put tougher controls in place for private landlords.

SELECT wants the government to make landlords give detailed information about electrical safety when renters start a new tenancy. The move follows a call for evidence from the Scottish Government’s consultation on landlord registration.

Darrell Matthews, managing director of SELECT, 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.”

The comments were issued in response to a proposal in a consultation to consider whether the prescribed information landlords must hand to tenants should be improved. The consultation states that landlords should provide information that “a property meets the specific requirements relating to gas, electrical, and carbon monoxide safety” when a new tenant moves in. SELECT argues that landlords should submit written evidence that an electrical inspection and testing has taken place and that fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and operational.

“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.”

The government review is examining whether the current landlord registration process is strict enough and whether landlords understand their obligations towards their tenants. Increasing registration fees from the current £55 to account for inflation and increased licencing administration is also under consideration. Fees have not risen since 2006.