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Landlord refusing to 'earth' electrics.

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Mel94, 12 Apr 2014.

  1. DaftPunk

    DaftPunk

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    I still fail to see what's actually wrong with your installation? You mention there's no earth but you don't say to what. The report mentions bonding in the bathroom which is not required now you have your new cu. The flex with the innards showing isn't ideal but hardly life threatening. Seems like the LL has taken reasonable steps to make sure the installation is suitable for continued use
     
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  3. securespark

    securespark

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    PEB to gas meter.

    You need not supplementary bond in the bathroom as long as you have RCD protection to all circuits feeding that room and you have PEB's to gas, water etc...
     
  4. DaftPunk

    DaftPunk

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    I can't beleive that in this day and age that anyone would fit a new cu without making sure the main PEBs are in place.
     
  5. Mel94

    Mel94

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    PEBs?
     
  6. DaftPunk

    DaftPunk

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    Protective equipotential bonds. Better known as a fairly thick green and yellow wire attached to the gas pipe near to the point of entry to the property.
     
  7. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Does the installation require PEB, it could be that the incoming service pipework is insulted, therefore it can then be omitted.

    With regards to whether the landlord has a duty to confirm electrical safety? then read this article:
    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/content/electrical-safety
     
  8. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    Speaking with my other hat on as a private landlord ...

    That is actually correct.

    For a new installation or additions then RCD protection is required for some circuits (sockets in particular). However they isn't, and never had been, any requirement to retrospectively apply new regs to existing installations. The other defects (related to bonding I believe) could have been met without replacing the consumer unit - but it's often easier to replace the CU and remove some of the bonding requirements.

    This is a tricky area, judging how far anyone should be "forced" to go in terms of updating an existing installation. There's an element here of "backside covering", in that while there is no requirement to upgrade existing installations, there then comes the argument (potentially if something happens, or I get a "b***ard tenant"*) of arguing whether something that met previous regs but doesn't meet current regs is "reasonably safe" which is what the law requires. The decision I took 3 years ago (when I added a second property and the first was empty) was to upgrade - by careful equipment selection and doing most of the work myself I was able to keep the costs very reasonable.

    Also, is it reasonable to expect significantly higher standards in a rented property compared to one you own ? I'm not aware of many (well in fact, any) people who have made a decision along the lines of "ooh, the regs have changed, I'm going to update my electrics" without there being some other reason to do so.


    I do have to say though that your landlord is not very reasonable. Actually I'd go further and say he's the sort that saddles the responsible ones of us with unnecessary red tape. If you have evidence that he provided untrue gas safety certificates in the past then please, please report him to the Gas Safe Register. There is no room for cowboys like that and they need weeding out - he gets no sympathy from me.

    I also find the response you got from the council officer "rather disturbing". It's an implied term (ie one that's implied into any tenancy by law and cannot be contracted out of) that a rented dwelling should be habitable - and that includes having working fresh water and sanitation. These days, not having running hot water wouldn't normally be counted as having adequate sanitation facilities. I think you should be having words with the council again, and potentially make a complaint.

    I admit I do find myself in a bit of a "do you, don't you ?" situation here. As a landlord I'm not generally in favour of getting councils to stick their noses in and have the opportunity to cause hassle. But, I also don't like seeing bad landlords give the rest of us a bad name, so I support measures that persuade them to improve their game. In your case, I think the latter applies.


    * I've only had one, but that was one too many. Remember that there are two sides to every story - in a property with no prior or post problems with damp and/or mould, one tenant managed to make every single surface in the flat grow mould - and then complained to the council before mentioning it to me. I'm fairly certain they were hoping the council would "suggest" that the rent was too high for a damp and mouldy flat. On top of that, I had complaints from almost all the neighbours, and they scammed an insurance claim off one of them for alleged damage to their van.
    By the time I'd got the place fully back into the standard I expect of something I let, I reckon it cost me several months worth of rent.
     
  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    I can vouch for all that.

    I would add that when empty there is no condensation (or so-called damp) in any of the flats I look after.
    I have said before that the same flat can either be a mould-ridden hovel or a spotless little palace depending on the tenant.
     
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  11. Mel94

    Mel94

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    PrenticeBoyofDerry - Just read the article you sent. I have a question, does anyone know why it isn't a legal requirement for tenant's houses to have an electrical service certificate like with gas? I know gas issues are like a "silent killer" and should definitely be made safe but surely an electrical certificate is important too as they can be just as dangerous? That was the problem with reporting my landlord with the electrics, there wasn't a certificate required and although it's in the law to have the electrics made safe, in my experience it didn't hold any weight because of the lack of legal requirement for a certificate.

    Also, to the user who said the landlord should be reported to Gas Safe register - we did and told them everything about the gas problems from lack of maintenance on his part, the fake certificate, etc and they said they'd look into it yet the landlord doesn't seem to have been dealt with - he's still registered and appears to be still working without any care in the world. The impression I got from local authorities is that they allow people to live in worse conditions with children, so they weren't much bothered about the unsafe conditions and frankly didn't seem to see what all the fuss was about, even though we'd had two electricians telling us that the electrics at the time were dangerously unsafe and an emergency gas engineer shutting off the gas supply because of the hazard - but oh no, they knew best.

    Hence why I've been asking about the safety of the house now, because the landlord was reluctant to pay for the repairs and just wanted to get it done quickly and cheaply so I just wanted to know for safety purposes if the current condition was deemed adequate by professionals, because I don't trust the landlord's word when he said it's safe now.
     
  12. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Unfortunately the law is a little vague on stating the way that installation are proved to safe. Landlords do have a duty of care to prove the existing installation is safe and is maintained, but does not state what procedure is used to carry this out or document it!
    So I personally do not know why the law does not state that EICR are not made periodically to let properties, one day this may change but do not hold your breathe, as recent amendments to part p, seem to have taken backward steps in my opinion, with regards to electrical safety in domestic properties.
     
  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I presume that you are referring to notification, rather than Part P, per se - Part P has never changed since its inception and, in any event, probably never imposed much more in the way of legal obligations (to work in a fashion as to not cause injury, fire etc.) than already existed in Common Law and other legislation.

    As for notification, I doubt that it was ever going to impact much on the worst of electrical work, unless it were rigorously policed (which would be all but impossible) - since it is probably the very same people (whether DIYers or 'electricians') whose electrical work is most worrying who will be ignoring the notification requirements (whatever they happen to be) anyway!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. flameport

    flameport

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    There were proposals to include such a document in the Home Information Pack - but almost immediately that was suggested, the contents of the pack were eroded away to eventually only leave the EPC, and then the whole notion of the HIP was removed altogether.
     
  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    ISTR that there has been 'talk' of some sort of corresponding electrical certification virtually ever since the gas one appeared. Like PBoD, I'm not holding my breath, but, on the other hand, seeing the direction in which our society has been moving over recent decades, I'd be very surprised if it doesn't happen one of these days.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. SimonH2

    SimonH2

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    OK, I've looked this up, and it comes under :
    the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires the landlord to ensure the electrical installation is safe when the tenancy begins and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout that tenancy. (Ref, NLA training library).
    Having looked up the legislation, it would look like sections 8 (1) and 11 (1) (b) apply. However there is a general rule in English law that everyone is bound by a duty of care, though I don't know of a reference to it.

    Thus if an electrician has informed you that the installation is unsafe, then there would appear to have been a breach of the law - unless the landlord can show that the electrician was wrong. I would be inclined (in the first instance) to go back to the council (wrote to the Chief Executive !) and ask them to justify their refusal to take action, other than that I don't know what route you would need to take.
    But section 17 seems to suggest that a court can order the landlord to make repairs - presumably after "someone" takes the matter to court.


    That's where you need to kick up a stink. Sadly it seems to be the way with a number of such bodies (some of the electrical trade bodies are commonly accused of it) where what they say and what they do are different things. If you've taken evidence of wrongdoing to GSR and they've refused to act then you start writing to your MP (why is the safety regulator deliberately allowing dangerous work to go unchallenged ?) and the papers ("dangerous gas fitter puts tenant in danger and regulator refuses to act" would be the sort of headline some papers would be quite happy to print).


    it really comes down to : how much do you want to push it ? If you are prepared to push it then you can get action, but you'll need to be bold and make your voice heard. Unfortunately, moaning on a forum may get you sympathy, but probably no actual action.

    There is one thing I should point out though. Assuming you are on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, and the initial fixed period has expired (ie you're now on a Statutory Periodic Tenancy), then the landlord does have certain cards up his sleeve. If you cause too much hassle for him, then he could give you notice to leave, and for a Section 21 notice doesn't have to have or give any reason. If he did exercise such a right, then he could open himself up to public vilification in the press ("evil landlord evicts tenant for demanding safety repairs"), but that assumes you'd managed to get the press involved in the first place.
     
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