Student renters are being urged by a charity not to ignore any warning signs that the electrics in their property could be a danger.
Electrical Safety First said some landlords renting privately to students could face fines or other consequences if they do not ensure that their property is safe.
For some students, the new university year may be their first experience of renting privately.
Warning signs highlighted by Electrical Safety First include yellowing or discoloured plug sockets, which may be a sign of overheating; flickering lights, which may indicate a loose connection; and a “fishy” smell, which could be coming from burning sockets or plastic.
Other issues to look out for include cracked or broken sockets or switches which may indicate the property has not been checked in a while; appliances being in poor condition, which may leave live parts exposed; and electricity that keeps tripping, which may indicate that circuits are overloaded or that wiring is deteriorating.
Laws were previously introduced in England following campaigning by the charity. Private landlords in England could potentially face fines of up to £30,000 if they do not ensure the property is electrically safe.
Richard Harvey, electrical safety installation engineer at Electrical Safety First, said: “Whilst many good landlords provide great accommodation to privately renting students, rogue landlords with no concern for safe accommodation need to know the law will catch up with them.”
Students can find more guidance on the charity’s website at electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guidance/advice-for-you/students.