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AtullGupta
15-06-2009, 09:00 AM
Hello,

I rented a property to a tenant pre-October 2008 (so assume this was prior to the mandatory EPC requirement). In November, the shower pump broke, and I paid a plumber to replace it. I did not however inspect the repair work done, although the new pump worked fine. The tenant would obviously have seen the results of this work.

Whilst I was away on sabbatical, the pump broke again. As the original plumber was not reachable, I used a separate plumber who advised the tenant that the wiring had been unsafe before fixing the problem.

The tenant is now threatening to sue me for the unsafe wiring, claiming that it posed a danger to her baby son.

Can I get some advice on how liable I am as a landlord if the tenant goes ahead and sues me? No damage has been caused and the tenant no longer resides at this property.

Considering the circumstances, I feel that I did what I could to rectify the problem as soon as I became aware of it.

Gettting an EPC (including any electrical repairs needed) check will obviously be my priority prior to the next tenant arriving.

Many thanks for your advice.

Kind Regards
Atull

attilathelandlord
15-06-2009, 10:06 AM
You can only sue for actual damage suffered, not potential. She would have to show that she has suffered financial loss or physical harm.

Don't worry about it, just get it fixed properly.

IanM
15-06-2009, 11:22 AM
EPC - Energy Performance Certificate. You need one, but it has nothing to do with safety of your wiring (actually doesn't take long & isn't expensive.) The gas safety certificate is also compulsory and required annually (also quick and inexpensive)

There is no specific compulsory test for electrical wiring and equipment. As a landlord you have a 'Duty of Care' to your tenant and it's recommended that you carry out 'due diligence' to ensure their safety (also worth doing to satisfy your insurance company) You can get:

Domestic Electrial Installation Certificate (British Standard BS 7671.) This is the inspection report for the internal wiring and installed appliances. Strongly recommended for all properties, will also be valuable if you are planning to sell the rental property since many prospective buyers now ask for this report.
PAT - Portable Appliance Testing. Furnished properties only need this! covers any free standing appliance that you plug into the 3-pin electrical outlet (TVs, fridges, etc) and excludes installed wiring and any built in ovens, showers etc. It's debatable whether you need this if you have modern appliances only that are in good condition and carry the modern safety kitemark, especially if the goods are all under warranty.


Have just had the internal wiring check done on a 25yr old 2 bed bungalow. Cost was £120 for the inspection which lasted 2-3hrs. We needed another 3-4hrs work to rectify things not up up to code.

I highly recommend getting a couple of quotes at least for any remedial work. Our letting agent booked the inspection through their regular electrician who turned out to be a bit of a shark, he really padded his estimate for the repair work and wanted £400. We got our own electrician (NIC EIC qualified) to do the work for £150 and issue the certificate!


Good set of factsheets here:
http://www.letlink.co.uk/letting-factsheets/factsheets/main
Look at 4, 37 & 38

Richardo
15-06-2009, 11:35 AM
Hello,

I rented a property to a tenant pre-October 2008 (so assume this was prior to the mandatory EPC requirement).
Gettting an EPC (including any electrical repairs needed) check will obviously be my priority prior to the next tenant arriving.

Kind Regards
Atull

Atull - An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate which tries to define the energy usage per square metre for the property. It is NOT an inspection of the wiring in the property and has nothing to do with the safety or working condition of any appliance. However a Surveyor might have a duty of care to his client to advise of any safety issue he uncovers during an EPC Survey.

Whilst there is no legal obligation for a Landlord to have the electrical installation certified, you have a duty of care to your tenant that the property is safe. If changing the shower pump involved new wiring in the bathroom then this should have been carried out by a Part P certified electrican - a legal requirement. If no new wiring was required then, as I understand it, any competent person may carry out the repair.

I also agree you can't sue for damages unless you have suffered a loss, but your ex-tenant could have raised the issue with the Local Authority.

Richardo

AtullGupta
15-06-2009, 19:25 PM
and the clarifications about EPC, electrical safety and PAT. I think I'll get the ESC done as well.

The plumber who carried out the repair work is certified, so I am confident that the repair work done has removed any danger previously posed.

If the tenant went to the local authority, what could happen then? She has also been going on about this as a course of action to take.

youatemymonkey
07-07-2009, 20:46 PM
id be interested to know from a tennants point of view

as similar we have live wire out of a bathroom wall :rolleyes:

islandgirl
08-07-2009, 08:25 AM
Local authorities are supposed to be hot on all this kind of thing yet my elderly mother has been offered sheltered housing with storage heating. Front panels were off and wires hanging out which was reported so it could be made safe before she moved in. Last inspection 1996 says the sticker on the side. Heating "engineers" came and said they would only screw on panels and not safety check the heaters. After much arguing they agreed to send an electrician today. They have not even put the panels back correctly as one wire is still hanging out...

midlandslandlord
16-01-2011, 23:51 PM
Whilst I was away on sabbatical, the pump broke again. As the original plumber was not reachable, I used a separate plumber who advised the tenant that the wiring had been unsafe before fixing the problem.

Why is a plumber advising you about electric wiring?

And how does he have the knowledge/authorisation to carry out a repair and certify that it is safe or not? Perhaps he is dual qualified (?)

I admit that I don't know the detail of any differences about wiring in bathrooms.

ML