The social housing sector should follow the private rental sector’s lead by making electrical safety checks mandatory, the charity Electric Safety First found.
Since five-year mandatory checks were introduced in June 2020 for private landlords in England some 7,000 issues have been uncovered, like exposed live wiring and damaged plug sockets.
In April 2021 the regulation was extended from new to existing tenancies, hitting more landlords.
However four million social housing properties in England are currently not covered by the law, and the charity reckons the same issues are occurring in that sector.
Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, said: “The millions of social renters in England deserve equal protection and it is time for five-yearly electrical safety checks to be extended to this housing sector.”
“Our findings demonstrate how essential electrical safety checks are in identifying faults and preventing harm.
“In their first year alone, they have protected thousands of tenants from faults that could have caused serious injury and fire, and helped maintain the condition and safety of landlords properties.”
The government is currently consulting on extending the electrical safety check rules in its Social Housing Regulation Bill.
Checks are already in place in Scotland, while they will come into force in December in Wales.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “Everyone has the right to a safe and secure home. We are currently consulting on the best ways to protect social residents from the dangers of poor electrical safety, including mandatory testing every five years, and our Social Housing Regulation Bill contains a clause that will enable us to legislate for this.”