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essexlandlord
14-09-2006, 15:37 PM
Hello all

I sent a part p qualified electrician to install a washing machine in the bathroom of a flat I am letting.

Tenant has now moved out and was advised by the agent to disconect the machine from the mains himself. He was not happy about this but did so. When he disconected it he noticed that there was no RCD protecting the machine.

He is furious and is threatening to sue me for failing to meet my common law duty of care.

Surely I cant be sued if I sent a qualified electrican round and no damage was done. Am I right.

pms
14-09-2006, 16:00 PM
Hello all

I sent a part p qualified electrician to install a washing machine in the bathroom of a flat I am letting.

Tenant has now moved out and was advised by the agent to disconect the machine from the mains himself. He was not happy about this but did so. When he disconected it he noticed that there was no RCD protecting the machine.

He is furious and is threatening to sue me for failing to meet my common law duty of care.

Surely I cant be sued if I sent a qualified electrican round and no damage was done. Am I right.

Oh yes you can.Why on earth put a washing machine in a bathroom in the first place that is asking for trouble.And as for health and saftey everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix.The agent was in the wrong as well for asking the tenant to disconnect the machine.If he doe's decide to sue you then you've only yourself to blame.

islandgirl
14-09-2006, 16:17 PM
I would think that the tenant would sue the electrician? Surely the Landlord exercised due care by sending around a qualified electrician. If the Landlord has invoices from a qualified person he is in the clear? Anything else is asking the Landlord to know more about electrics than the electrician which can't be right?

lawstudent
14-09-2006, 16:30 PM
Oh yes you can.Why on earth put a washing machine in a bathroom in the first place ... everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix.
What about electric shower units, shaver sockets, Jacuzzis, lights ... ? Of course you can safely install a washing machine in a bathroom. If it's properly earthed and equipped with an RCD (as this one wasn't) it's perfectly safe. There must be tens of thousands of washing machines in bathrooms; when did you hear of anyone being electrocuted by one?
The agent was in the wrong as well for asking the tenant to disconnect the machine.
agreed
If he doe's decide to sue you then you've only yourself to blame
Nonsense. Islandgirl is right. By the way, what's with the doe's? A doe's a deer, a female deer ...
answers in red

P.Pilcher
14-09-2006, 16:35 PM
No - the tenant sues the landlord, and he landlord sues the electrician because the tenant had no contract with the electrician - the landlord did. However, I would think it unlikely that the tenant would succeed as no actual damage was done - I expect that the legal profession will make a bit out of it though. Please note my (popular) disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

P.P.

johnjw
14-09-2006, 16:47 PM
I can't understand why the tenant became involved in disconnecting the machine - did the machine belong to him?; if so, that might shift the burden of responsibility a little.
I agree with Island Girl, that if you have employed a qualified Electrician, he would be responsible for safe installation. In any event, I can't see how your ex-tenant could sue you effectively- he hasn't been damaged has he?

Ericthelobster
14-09-2006, 19:17 PM
1. There's absolutely no reason (in principle) why a washing machine can't be installed in a bathroom, subject to various conditions which I would expect a Part P qualified electrician to be well aware of. Main one being that it wold need to be wired through a fused consumer unit rather than an ordinary plug/socket - and I don't believe for a moment that any electrician would fit a socket in a bathroom as that's been illegal for decades.

2. What makes the letting agent thinks he knows more about electrical regs than a qualified electrician?

3. Even if the machine had been incorrectly wired, what exactly does the tenant think he's going to sue the LL for? AFAIK, it's a basic tenet that you can't sue someone for what might have happened, only for what did happen. I could be wrong though!

4. There's no requirement for RCDs at all; they are recommended and not mandatory. They are strongly reccommended for appliances to be used outside. As far as bathrooms go; well it would be perfectly normal for an electric shower - a fixed appliance - not to be wired through an RCD-protected circuit, even if one is fitted to the consumer unit (main fusebox) as it's not necessary.

Go find a new agent!

Worldlife
14-09-2006, 20:50 PM
1. There's absolutely no reason (in principle) why a washing machine can't be installed in a bathroom, subject to various conditions which I would expect a Part P qualified electrician to be well aware of. Main one being that it wold need to be wired through a fused consumer unit rather than an ordinary plug/socket - and I don't believe for a moment that any electrician would fit a socket in a bathroom as that's been illegal for decades. <snip>


I have difficulty in getting my head around why the tenant was asked to disconnect washing machine belonging to the landlord from a fused consumer unit. ( a wired sealed case with cable inserted from the applieance and the size of a socket!)

If the washing machine belonged to the tenant then I wonder why the landlord was involved in the installation work - unless of course the tenant was re-charged for the work.

Obviously the disconnection costs for a tenant's washing machine should be born by the tenant.

Unless the washing machine is provided by the landlord it is perhaps best to locate washing machine points (water services, drainage and power) in areas where 13 amp sockets protected by fuseboard circuit breakers can be utilised.

ATI
14-09-2006, 23:23 PM
I installed waching machine in the shower room myself once because there was technically no where else to install it. i was told it was illegal. but since i took the blame i kept it there for over a year. i must say that it is not fun having electrics next to water

lawstudent
15-09-2006, 05:45 AM
I installed waching machine in the shower room myself once ... i kept it there for over a year. i must say that it is not fun having electrics next to water
Well you seem to have lived to tell the tale. But you're right about it being no fun "having electrics next to water". Electricity-free bathrooms and toilets are a laugh a minute. It's terrific fun shaving with a cut-throat razor by moonlight, and peeing in the dark.
Anyway, if you don't want "electrics next to water" you'll have to find yourself a coal-fired washing machine.

RichieP
15-09-2006, 07:51 AM
You're right. That tiling's terrible.

lawstudent
15-09-2006, 08:39 AM
That's not a shower cubicle - it's a birdcage.

Jennifer_M
15-09-2006, 10:20 AM
And there was me thinking that many washing machines are installed in a kitchen very near the sink... Not like you could get water in a kitchen?

pms
15-09-2006, 10:45 AM
Well you seem to have lived to tell the tale. But you're right about it being no fun "having electrics next to water". Electricity-free bathrooms and toilets are a laugh a minute. It's terrific fun shaving with a cut-throat razor by moonlight, and peeing in the dark.
Anyway, if you don't want "electrics next to water" you'll have to find yourself a coal-fired washing machine.


http://www.niceic.org.uk/approved/quest1.html

gingernut
15-09-2006, 11:09 AM
Sorry , It's a long time since I've head my book in tort text book, but I thought you had to demonstrate duty of care/breach of that duty/resultant damage, to successfully pursue a claim. The first two could be easilly demonstrated, but I can't see any evidence of reultant damage.

I wish I'd studied property law, it would have proved more useful !

lawstudent
15-09-2006, 11:54 AM
very interesting, pms - I suppose a washing machine is not normally fixed so an RCD will be required. But is it a legal requirement for LL's installations to comply with British Standards? Or would it simply be a recommendation?

Jennifer_M
15-09-2006, 12:00 PM
Not sure about LLs Lawstudent but I would have thought an electrician must comply with regulations when doing any work?

pms
15-09-2006, 12:30 PM
very interesting, pms - I suppose a washing machine is not normally fixed so an RCD will be required. But is it a legal requirement for LL's installations to comply with British Standards? Or would it simply be a recommendation? Electrical Work should be carried out to British Standards 7671 and part p of the Buildings regs which is covered by the Building Act(1984) so in my opinion it would be a legal requirement and a recommendation.Also bear in mind DPA(1972) s4 which imposes a duty of care on the landlord.

P.Pilcher
15-09-2006, 13:37 PM
Er - are we going around in circles a bit here? A landlord needs to know nothing about part P except that it is required in this case. Landlord engages an appropriately qualified electrician to carry out work. Electrician completes work and advises LL that it is complete (hopefully in writing). Subsequently it is found that installation does not comply with part P - on who's word? LA building inspector? Part P certified electrician? or somebody like me who knows a lot about electricity, is qualified in many electrical respects but not to validly criticise a part P installation. Only if this word comes from one of the first two types of individuals would a landlord's duty of care oblige him to investigate further. Otherwise any Tom, Dick, Rental Agent or Harry could spend their time going around rental properties criticising anything they fancy and landlords would have to expensively take advice from professionals to ensure that they fulfilled their duty of care.

P.P.

ATI
15-09-2006, 14:51 PM
Although the contractor who fitted this shower cubicle needs shooting!

http://www.sda.co.uk/images/shower.jpg

OMG what kind of an idiot who would install that such socket?????????

Poppy
15-09-2006, 15:04 PM
What came first? Socket or Shower?

For the record, I have a washing machine in the bathroom of my PPR. I see no need to have the machine thrashing away like a noisy baby whilst having a gathering in the kitchen.

lawstudent
16-09-2006, 07:04 AM
I seem to remember there is some new legislation that prevents LLs doing electrical work themselves and requires them to use, supposedly more competent, qualified electricians. Seems a forlorn hope! Does anyone have a reference to this?

pms
16-09-2006, 23:21 PM
I seem to remember there is some new legislation that prevents LLs doing electrical work themselves and requires them to use, supposedly more competent, qualified electricians. Seems a forlorn hope! Does anyone have a reference to this?

Lawstudent: I'm not aware of the legislation that you mention.I know working for a L.A that we are insistant of using only Niceic or ECA contractors.I think where you may have missed the plot is in the legislation I quoted yesterday.All works must comply with Part P of the building regs which is governed by the Building Act(1984).Try the NICEIC site I posted it in a previous post

Ericthelobster
17-09-2006, 08:41 AM
I seem to remember there is some new legislation that prevents LLs doing electrical work themselves and requires them to use, supposedly more competent, qualified electricians. Seems a forlorn hope! Does anyone have a reference to this?There isn't any such legislation. However if a landlord carries out his own electrical work (beyond specific minimal projects specified in the Part P legislation) then he would need to submit a building regs notice and/or have the work signed off by a Part-P qualified electrician.

lawstudent
17-09-2006, 23:33 PM
There isn't any such legislation. However if a landlord carries out his own electrical work (beyond specific minimal projects specified in the Part P legislation) then he would need to submit a building regs notice and/or have the work signed off by a Part-P qualified electrician.
If there is no legislation requiring this then what creates the requirement? Any info or references would be appreciated.

Ericthelobster
18-09-2006, 07:26 AM
If there is no legislation requiring this then what creates the requirement? Any info or references would be appreciated.

Well, the Part P building regs are at:
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/PpWeb/jsp/redirect.jsp?url=http%3A//www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADP_2006.pdf
I suppose subsections 0.6 and 0.7 is the most relevant bit here?

lawstudent
18-09-2006, 08:58 AM
There's no requirement for RCDs at all; they are recommended and not mandatoryThanks eric. According to BS7671 an RCD is required for a washing machine in a bathroom

Ericthelobster
18-09-2006, 12:12 PM
Thanks eric. According to BS7671 an RCD is required for a washing machine in a bathroomyup - so I saw from PMS reply a few days ago.

naughtymoose
01-10-2006, 14:37 PM
PMS: (quote) I know working for a L.A that we are insistant of using only Niceic or ECA contractors.

As you work for a local authority, you should be aware of the letter sent by Anne Hemming, Head of Buildings Division to all Local Authorities
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
3 March 2005

Local authority building contracts
It has been drawn to our intention that some local authorities in letting contracts for electrical installation work in dwellings specify that only installers registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) or which are members of the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) should be acceptable for carrying out the work. Local authorities are reminded that there are ten authorised competent person schemes for Part P. Installers registered with any of the full competence schemes have been assessed as competent to carry out any electrical installation work in dwellings in accordance with the requirements of the Building Regulations; those registered with the defined competence schemes to carry out electrical installation work as a necessary adjunct to or arising out of their primary work.

It is precisely this sort of mis-information that causes problems. there are other organisations that have been vetted to show competance. eg: NAPIT, BSI, ELECSA.:mad:

Anyway:
The Regulations allow home laundry equipment such as washing
machines and tumble dryers to be installed in zone 3. However, they
would have to have the plug removed and be supplied by either a
fused switched flex outlet complying with BS 3676 or a fused switched
cord outlet connection unit complying with BS 1363-4 (also in zone 3)
and be protected by a 30 mA RCD, because although heavy and
perhaps plumbed in, they are not fixed equipment as such.

Socket outlets are not allowed in bathrooms OR shower rooms.

They are allowed in rooms that contain a shower cubicle (ie, bedroom):

Other than shaver socket-outlets complying with BS EN 60742 Chap 2
Sec 1 or BS EN 61558-2-5 and 12 volt SELV socket-outlets, socket-outlets
are not allowed in bathrooms or shower rooms, whatever the size of
the room. However, they are allowed in other locations containing a
shower cubicle provided the sockets are installed outside zones 0, 1, 2
or 3 and provided the socket is protected by a RCD with a rated
residual operating current I􀀀n not exceeding 30 mA.
In zone 3 there shall be no provision for connecting portable
equipment other than the shaver and SELV socket-outlets described
above.


The 'electrician' that did the work in the bathroom should have issued you with an electrical installation certificate AND somewhere along the line, should have notified LABC, because the work is notifiable under Building Regulations.

If the 'electrician' is registered with one of the five acknowledged bodies:BSI, ECA, ELECSA, NAPIT, NICEIC he may have notified LABC via his scheme provider.

If he was/is not a member of a scheme, but still competent, he may have notified the LABC IN ADVANCE. Then LABC should have sent an inspector around to check things out.

pms
02-10-2006, 12:08 PM
PMS: (quote) I know working for a L.A that we are insistant of using only Niceic or ECA contractors.

As you work for a local authority, you should be aware of the letter sent by Anne Hemming, Head of Buildings Division to all Local Authorities
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
3 March 2005

Local authority building contracts
It has been drawn to our intention that some local authorities in letting contracts for electrical installation work in dwellings specify that only installers registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) or which are members of the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) should be acceptable for carrying out the work. Local authorities are reminded that there are ten authorised competent person schemes for Part P. Installers registered with any of the full competence schemes have been assessed as competent to carry out any electrical installation work in dwellings in accordance with the requirements of the Building Regulations; those registered with the defined competence schemes to carry out electrical installation work as a necessary adjunct to or arising out of their primary work.

Im fully aware of the directive.Its the people at the top that dictate policy.I only follow it

It is precisely this sort of mis-information that causes problems. there are other organisations that have been vetted to show competance. eg: NAPIT, BSI, ELECSA.:mad:

Where's the misinformation you have quite clearly stated the L.A's position at the begining of your post.



The 'electrician' that did the work in the bathroom should have issued you with an electrical installation certificate AND somewhere along the line, should have notified LABC, because the work is notifiable under Building Regulations.

I agree!!

If he was/is not a member of a scheme, but still competent, he may have notified the LABC IN ADVANCE. Then LABC should have sent an inspector around to check things out. Agreed

Unfortunatly not all L.A's sing from the same hymn sheet.The L.A I work for are still insistant that we use NICEIC/ECA regeistered contractors.

naughtymoose
02-10-2006, 15:50 PM
PMS

Clearly, the LA that you work for have decided not to acknowledge the other schemes mentioned.

Please let me know what authority it is- then the matter can be addressed and members of other schemes shall not be discriminated against!

pms
02-10-2006, 22:02 PM
PMS

Clearly, the LA that you work for have decided not to acknowledge the other schemes mentioned.

Please let me know what authority it is- then the matter can be addressed and members of other schemes shall not be discriminated against!

There's nothing to address and the discrimination issue is non-applicable. If you want to be a do- gooder then I suggest you take it up with all Local Authorities and make an issue out of it.If the policy is to use NICEC/ECA electrical contractors then neither you nor I can change it,it's their progoative.
I can't think of a London Borough that doesn't use NICEC/ECA contractors.

Elektratek
14-10-2006, 11:07 AM
:) hmmm... an interesting thread.

I am not about to jump on the bandwagon, but i would suggest that people should state if they are posting a fact, or an understanding of something.
Everybody's post is either incorrect or incomplete to determine an answer for a layman to understand with refrence to technical requirements.

The "you must not do this" kind of statement leads to the whole thing going around in circles, and the statement is incorrect in the first place. The thread has now evolved considerably from the initial topic.

Love the socket/shower picture... least it looks level.

roganjosh
14-10-2006, 20:25 PM
It's worth a look at this site
http://www.niceic.org.uk/approved/quest1.html