One of a landlord's responsibilities is to provide customers with gas safety certificates when they sign a tenancy agreement - but there is an absence of the equivalent document for electrics.

This phenomenon has been described as "bizarre"by Cornwall coroner Andrew Cox, who had to record a verdict of accidental death when Thirza Whittall was found dead in her bath at her family's home in Porthscatho last year, after being electrocuted.

Faulty electrics were to blame for the tragic incident and it was discovered in the aftermath of the event that no full electrical check had been conducted on the property in question since 1981.

On the contrary, the Gas Safe Register became the official stamp for gas safety in the UK on April 1st 2009 and private landlords are legally obliged to pay for professionals to regularly check appliances.

After the inquest into the death of Ms Whittall, solicitor Chris Thorne told BBC News that his client and the husband of the deceased, Fred Whittall, wanted a change in the law to try and prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.

"If a private landlord lets out a property to a tenant, they require a gas certificate every year to ensure the property's safe - there is no such regulation in relation to the electrical supply, as the Whittalls have learnt to their cost,"Mr Thorne remarked.

Written by John Weeks


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