The importance of having an electrical safety report
Our landlord in South Africa was delighted to receive confirmation that her insurance company has forwarded money for ‘loss of rent’ and ‘emergency repairs’ following the unfortunate fire at her property. The fire, which rendered the house uninhabitable, was caused by the overheating of the external electric supply with the integral garage and bedroom above taking the brunt of the damage.
The tenants, who were at home having lunch, telephoned the fire brigade and they were quick to attend as were two of our staff from the Bicester office. Once the fire was out and the tenants had been treated for smoke inhalation, we were able to step in and properly manage the situation. Having found the tenants a temporary house to rent near Bicester and fully briefed the landlord overseas we then liaised with the fire brigade and insurance company to get the ball rolling with the clear up operation.
Although it is not technically a mandatory requirement for landlords to have an electrical safety certificate, common law dictates that a landlord does have a common law duty of care. It was interesting to note that the request for an electrical safety report was one of the first things the fire brigade asked when we met them. They were delighted to hear that it is our company policy to get electrical safety reports for the vast majority of our properties and we were able to give them a copy of the detailed report straight away.
Our advice to all landlords is to ensure they have an electrical safety check carried out – speak to your Property Manager if you need more information.