A survey by the Electrical Safety Council has revealed that a substantial number of landlords are contributing to accident or fire risk because they do not deal with electrical faults in good time.

One fifth of tenants reported fears over electrical equipment in their rented properties – fears that were addressed after a long period, or never addressed at all.

Landlords have been urged by the charity to ensure faults are dealt with quickly and by a professional. Landlords are obliged by law to maintain electrical systems in their properties and face thousands of pounds in fines if they fail to keep them in good working order. Additionally, their landlords’ buildings insurance – or similar cover – may be invalidated if a property is not properly looked after.

Equally, tenants themselves have a legal obligation to ensure all electrical items are well maintained throughout their tenancy.

There has been renewed interest in the rental sector, particularly in the area of buy-to-lets. Rents are rising very fast, thanks to increasing demand for rental property, partly due to the lack of new properties being built across the UK.

Experts agree that well maintained properties result in longer tenancies and the ability to charge more rent. This, in addition to eliminating the risk of huge fines and having insurance invalidated, are compelling reasons to carry out regular safety checks on electrical systems – an approach taken by the majority of UK landlords.