SELECT members recognised as ‘competent persons’ in new guidance on private rented sector

The guidance, to be formally launched by Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess under the Housing (Scotland) Act on February 16th covers installations for the supply of electricity and electrical fixtures – as well as who is competent to carry out an electrical inspection.

The new regime names SELECT, the trade association for the electrical industry in Scotland, as a recognised professional body, along with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

This means that a person carrying out an electrical safety inspection must be a ‘registered electrician’ – that is, have current membership of an accredited registration scheme operated by a recognised professional body. In Scotland, this will mean SELECT and NICEIC.

David Wright, head of external affairs at SELECT, said: ‘All landlords will have to be ready next month to implement the new inspection regime and SELECT is standing by to give help and guidance as the changes are ushered in.

‘According to Scottish Government statistics, 69 per cent of all accidental fires in Scottish homes (more than 3,400 annually) are caused by electricity. Independent research carried out by Electrical Safety First also indicates that private tenants are more likely to be at risk of electric shock or fire than owner occupiers.’

The purpose of the inspections is to ensure that all electrical installations, fixtures, fittings and appliances are in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order. It is not necessary to carry out a new inspection every time a new tenancy starts, as long as an inspection has been carried out in the period of five years before the tenancy starts.

David Wright added: ‘Both SELECT and NICEIC provide online tools for finding reputable local members and landlords can take membership of these organisations as evidence of competence.’

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