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MP ready to take on the landlords
A HAMPSHIRE MP will today call for private landlords to be more accountable over electrical safety in homes they rent out in Hampshire.
In a Westminster debate, Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton will urge the Government to change the law and make it a legal requirement for landlords to provide electrical as well as gas safety certificates in homes.
It comes after one of his constituents in Netley Abbey raised concerns about electrics in his home.
Malcolm Parker, 45, said sockets and wires were left hanging out of walls when he moved into a rented house in Priory Road in August 2011, while other electrics were very close to the plumbing.
He said: “I could not understand it. I raised it with my letting agent and I was told there was no regulation for it and that they did not have to be tested. I couldn’t believe that, but when I spoke to the Electrical Safety Council they confirmed it.
“You can’t blame the landlord or the tenants, because there is nothing in place. I brought it up with the MP a month and a half ago, and it’s brilliant how it has snowballed to this stage.”
Under current regulations, landlords do not have to certify the safety of the electrics in privately rented properties or prove when the electrics were last tested, unless they are registered houses of multiple occupation.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Thornton said: “With more and more people now renting their homes, it’s more important than ever that tenants can live safe in the knowledge that the electrics in their home have been tested and certified.
“The Government must realise that the current laws are just not up to scratch. Electrical safety certificates should be mandatory in the same way gas safety certificates are.”
Phil Buckle, director general of the ESC, a charity that has campaigned for legally required checks for four years, added: “Half of all fires in homes in Britain are caused by electricity and research suggests that private tenants are likely to be at greater risk of fire than residents in other housing sectors.”
The debate takes place at 4pm.
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