View Full Version : Landlord neglecting electrical safety

18-11-2009, 13:44 PM
Hi all,

Been lurking for a while now soaking up all this invaluable advice. Time for me to ask for some help.

I'm secretary of our RMC. One of the landlords in our purpose-built block has allowed his tenants to suffer with having no lighting in the upstairs of their flat.

The bathroom light (which I am aware is not a proper one for moisture-laden areas), blew and took out all the lights on the upstairs ring. This happened a while ago. At the time the landlord sent someone in to sort it out, which they did, but it has happened again.

The repairs that took place before didn't involve replacing the existing light fitting with an IP? rated one (is that right?), so the problem still remains.

The tenants haven't wanted to bother the landlord, but there are young children in the house using candles and coming up and down the stairs in the dark. I let the landlord know of the problem several weeks ago and he said he would phone his tenants, but he hasn't done.

I am concerned for his tenants, but also the fire risk his dodgy electrics could potentially pose to the entire block, and I want to make sure the company is doing the right thing for everyone.

Our building insurance company says any claim from incidents arising from this situation will not be covered.

The landlord is also behind on his service charge, which is in the process of being dealt with.

My question is: How entitled are the Management Company to demand that the landlord gets his electrics sorted out by a qualified electrician, bearing in mind the what the insurer has said?

18-11-2009, 15:10 PM
If the Residents Management Company owns f/r, it can enforce leaseholders' covenants. Is this leaseholder in breach re the electrics, however?

18-11-2009, 16:35 PM
Thanks for your reply.

Our freeholder is Network Rail, who didn't even know we existed until recently - another story altogether.
The piece of land we are on was carved up and there were underleases and more underleases and much confusion. We got lost in the mists of time.

Anyway, we have the headlease and get on and do our own thing with no input from them.

To check whether he is in breach I would have to trawl our lease to find out if the electrics are specifically mentioned - they might be, just about everything else is.

Would the fact that the insurance company would invalidate any claim arising from incidents relating to his electrical negligence (if there is such an expression), be enough to force him to sort it out?

I'm thinking that as we are responsible for insuring the property, and he may invalidate any potential claims through his negligence, he is then making it impossible for us to fulfil our duties as the management company to maintain the property according to the terms of the lease, ie: insuring the property.

What do you think?

18-11-2009, 16:39 PM
What I think: all (or a majority) of the leaseholders should collectively acquire all reversions, making life (and lines of communication) much simpler.

18-11-2009, 17:03 PM
Well, I am in direct contact with Network Rail. They are confused themselves as to the who, what, why and when, of their connection to us and have their deeds department 'looking in to it'.

We were using a solicitor to act as go between, but it cost us £2K and an extra year to get no further down the line.

Need to sort it out as we need to extend our leases (76 years now), each year costing us more.

Anyway, all that is another issue, have you any thoughts on the managing company's intention of forcing the landlord to get his electrics sorted?

18-11-2009, 17:14 PM
As you acknowledge that lease extension is needed, and other lessees need the same, consider serving Notice under s.13 of 1993 Act on Network Rail and all other reversioners UNLESS there is operational railway track/premises within the block's curtilege- in which case the RTE might be inoperative.
See posts #8/#9 here: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?p=171480&highlight=railway#post171480

18-11-2009, 17:38 PM
Yes, we're aware of the operational railway problem. Network Rail are reluctant to consider selling us the freehold.

But we are nowhere near the tracks, 50-75 meters away. They don't want the bother of it, and have said that they wouldn't normally consider selling if the sums involved were less than 100K.

Anyway, I'm still nipping away at their ankles, emailing them deeds and leases going back 40 years.

They will need to get themselves organised as at the very least we will be extending our leases.

Just need to decide what course of action to take if they carry on dragging their heels!

18-11-2009, 17:41 PM
Irrespective of NR's wishes, your best bet is to collect lessees and serve NR et al under s.13.

18-11-2009, 17:44 PM
Ok, thank you very much for your help.