New Electrical Safety Bill Could Mean Good News for Homebuyers

Posted on: 4 mins read
Last updated:
Tina Wilson

Litigation Executive, Road Traffic Accidents

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A new Electrical Safety Certificate Bill for owned properties is in progress. This would be good news for home buyers, who would get electrical safety checks at the point of sale, in the same way that renters do. We hope this will reduce the amount of electric shocks, burns, and other types of personal injuries that happen as a result of fires and faulty wirings.

Lord Foster of Bath’s Domestic Premises Bill has passed its final stages in the UK House of Lords and will be going forward in the House of Commons. It would introduce electrical safety checks at the point of sale, protecting home buyers from purchasing a property with electrical faults. Our Personal Injury lawyers have helped many people who have claimed compensation for what were preventable injuries from electrical faults at home. We hope this Bill will go some way to reduce these.

Every year, there are approximately 70 deaths, and 350,000 injuries due to faulty electrical equipment and sockets in the home. A large proportion of these are children, which is why this new Electrical Safety Certificate Bill will be a welcomed movement from everyone. 

Thankfully this legislation already exists for those who rent privately, and landlords are required to have the electrical installations in their properties tested at least every five years. The Regulations came into force on the 1st June 2020 and were a part of the Government’s wider work to improve safety in all residential premises and particularly in the private rented sector. The legislation states that private landlords are required to make sure that all electrical installations are inspected and tested by a regulated technician. The government recently announced that this is also the case for the social housing rental sector, but nothing has yet been done for the 14 million households in the UK who own their home.

As it stands, when residential properties go on sale, vendors must provide information about the energy performance of the property, but not about its electrical safety. The Bill would require a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR) or electrical installation certificate (EIC) to be made available to prospective buyers in England and Wales.

There are currently around 17 million owner-occupied households in England and Wales, and most buyers don’t organise their own electrical installation condition report before buying a home. Around a fifth of homebuyers aren’t even aware that electrics are not automatically checked as part of a survey.

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The Dangers of Electric Shocks and Fires

Every year in England and Wales, there are over 2000 fires caused by faulty electrical installations. These can also be caused by faulty electrical appliances and products, which can lead to electric shocks. This can cause damage to your property, costing you huge amounts of money but can also lead to serious injuries and sadly even loss of life.

As well as some of the more immediate and visible symptoms, many people who have suffered an electric shock can go on to experience a range of psychological symptoms. This is sometimes referred to as Post Electric Shock Syndrome and can include:

  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • memory loss;
  • confusion;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • fatigue;
  • cardiac arrythmia.

A lot of people who have suffered an electric shock also report ongoing chronic pain, especially if they’ve suffered a nerve injury. A common condition resulting from electric shock is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

Because people often think they are going to die at the time they have an electric shock it is also common to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

According to Electrical Safety First research, around two thirds of people did not get their electrics checked before purchasing a house. If you’re currently in the process of buying your home, make sure you get your electrics separately tested. If you’re currently renting or in social housing, this is your landlord’s responsibility, so make sure you have your most recent Electrical Safety Certificate and flag it if over five years have passed.

The National Residential Landlords Association shows that landlords must do the following when it relates to electricity:

  • Arrange for a registered electrician to carry out a professional check every five years to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)  
  • Make the EICR available to tenants before they move in  
  • Protect against potential electric shocks by checking the property has an adequate residual current device (RCD)  

How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

Our expert solicitors have recovered millions of pounds for people over the years for injuries resulting from fires, faulty equipment, appliances and other products, such as burns and electric shocks. If you’ve experienced this and believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, get in touch with our specialist Personal Injury lawyers who can tell you whether you have an eligible claim for compensation. You can also make a claim for compensation on behalf of your child.

If the other party admits liability, we try and get you access to early interim payments, to cover any immediate rehabilitation and support you might need after your injuries.

As we discussed in this article, legislation is inconsistent across owned and rental properties, and it can be tricky to know whether another party was at fault for your injury. We’ll listen to your situation and provide expert legal advice. We can usually deal with claims on a No Win, No Fee basis, so call us on 0808 239 3227 for a free, no obligation discussion regarding your claim.


UK Parliament. (n.d.). Domestic Premises (Electrical Safety Certificate) Bill.

Meteor Electrical. (n.d.). Electrical Safety Statistics.

The EIC. (n.d.).

UK Parliament Research Briefings. (2022). Domestic Premises (Electrical Safety Certificate) Bill.

Electrical Safety First. (n.d.). Advice for Home Buyers.

Simpson Millar LLP. (n.d.). Fatal Accident Compensation Claims.

Simpson Millar LLP. (n.d.). Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Claims.

NRLA - The Complete Guide to a Landlord's Responsibilities. (n.d.).

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