The London Assembly is pushing for the Government to bring in mandatory safety checks in the capital’s private rented sector following a surge in fires caused by electrical sources.

The assessments would have to be conducted by landlords every five years, currently a rule in Scotland and one due to be brought forward in Wales.

Assembly member Tom Copley said: “It’s completely senseless that we’re seeing damage to people’s lives and properties as a result of these avoidable fires.

“We have a massive private rented sector in London and it’s worrying that we don’t already have mandatory electrical tests in place to protect the many, many Londoners who rent.”

The motion agreed by the assembly calls on the Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan to make representations on the issue to the Secretary Of State For Communities And Local Government.

Assembly member Shaun Bailey said: “The number of fires at privately rented premises caused by poor electrical installations is a growing problem for London’s fire services.

“Landlords need to be made accountable for the electrical safety of their accommodation and mandatory tests every five years is an effective way of ensuring that.”

Lettings Agency Fees Ban

Meanwhile, the London Assembly also agreed a motion welcoming the ban on letting agency fees for tenants and urged the Government to make sure the legislation is loophole-free.

Mr Copley said by 2020 a third of Londoners will be renting from private landlords and that tenants are currently paying an average of £337 in fees.

He said: “Letting agencies provide a service to landlords, not tenants. Landlords can shop around for a better deal, tenants can’t. A ban on fees for tenants is well overdue.

“Despite scaremongering by letting agencies, research by Shelter has shown there has been no increase in rents following the ban on letting agency fees in Scotland in 2012.

“Having made this important pledge to tenants, the Government must now deliver on it.

“We call on the Mayor to make representations to ministers to ensure this most welcome change contains no loopholes.”

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