View Full Version : Electrical safety & our landlords antics

06-06-2005, 14:35 PM

My partner and I rent a flat from a private landlord. They are old, very bad tempered and obviously have read up on their rights as landlords as they are hugely evasive to anything we try to discuss with them in that respect.

We have had a couple of incidents with the man of the house entering our flat without our prior permission to fix a leaky tap, a faulty storage heater etc. Resulting on one occassion in me coming home from work late one night to realise that someone had been into our flat and had left a complete mess of the bathroom.
We have had totally inadequate heating whereby for the first three months in the property, we had to endure the most horrific damp and mould on both the walls, our clothes and carpets. They would accept no responsibility for this but once I looked into it, realised that we needed more heaters (they only gave us two storage heaters for a 3 bedroom flat!). We had to buy the heaters ourselves.

MORE IMPORTANTLY; On Friday morning just gone, I realised we had no hot water. We run on electrical hot water from the boiler in the kitchen. I opened the boiler cupboard door where we also keep our towels and bed linen to find the electical socket had burnt out and only narrowly missed setting the towels, cupboard and possibly the entire flat on fire and thus killing us! The contents of the cupboard had a horrid fishy, burnt smell of burnt plastic and wires.

When we told the landlord, he said that he couldn't possibly get an electrician around to fix on a Saturday and that he was too busy himself to look at it until Monday morning. We spent four days without hot water. He came in this morning in a very rude fashion and has set about replacing the switch, part of the boiler and goodness knows what else on his own!! I don't think he's a qualified electrician and I am worried that the work he's carrying out is not up to the Electrical Safety Standards of 94. He is approximately 80 years old and the most bad tempered and rude man we have ever encountered. We try our very best to be overly polite and chatty but we are met with abrupt rudeness at every turn.

He is always doing things on the cheap and I worry that our lives might be put at risk with the handwork of this old chap. Where do we stand legally???

Many thanks for any input anyone can give.


06-06-2005, 21:43 PM
Your landlord is in breach of so many regulations that he is in serious trouble.

He cannot enter your flat, period, except with your express permission. Threaten to change the locks and to charge him for doing so!

His breaches are:

Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 (S.11)
Protection from Eviction Act 1977
Defective Premises Act 1972.

Look up some of the other threads and use the search facility as there is so much on poor landlords that I don't have the time to go into it all yet again. I've posted just about all you need to know on this subject already. Sorry!

08-06-2005, 22:26 PM
Lolly, in addition to the advise given by PAULF, you need to be Part 'P' approved as an alectrician to carry out work in a kitchen under the new laws. I take it he cannot give you a minor works certificate for replacement of the bunt out switch, to clarify he has carried out the correct tests on his completed work. if this is the case, he is also in breach of the building regulations, which could land him a five grand fine per non compliance!


08-06-2005, 22:42 PM
Part P (as with every part of the Building Regs) applies only to new work or material alterations. Replacing existing electrical fittings is neither new work nor a material alteration amnd therefore Part P does not apply.

Table 1 of the Approved Document http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_buildreg/documents/page/odpm_breg_br1007.pdf set out the work that are not material alterations, and therefore to which Part P does not apply.

However, I would always advise that you use a qualified electrician even where the law does not require you to, unless you genuinely know what you are doing.

By all means contact your local authority building control department, but you will find there is nothing they can or will do.

09-06-2005, 06:51 AM
All domestic electrical installation work, whether professional or DIY, must comply with BS 7671. Failure to comply would leave the installer open to legal action, and liable for any injury, loss or remedial work that may result.

The only domestic work for which either self-certification or notification will not be required will be for some minor work (generally work not involving the provision of a new circuit). The replacement of a consumer unit will not qualify as minor work.

In kitchens and areas of increased risk, such as a bathroom or shower room, a garden or a swimming pool or sauna, all work, minor or not, will need either to be self-certified or notified. This applies to new works only.

As Steve says if he is carrying out replacement work is non-notifiable.

Persons who are not registered with a self-certification scheme - including DIYers - will need to notify or submit plans to a building control body, unless the work is non-notifiable.

20-06-2005, 23:20 PM

Could i please draw your attention to the link above from the NICEIC website which clearly states a Kitchen is a location of increased risk. If you think my comments about PART P effecting homeowners ability and standing to start replacing their own accessories in their property, take it up with the NICEIC, after all...i quoted their web page. Either way, i don't think the discription of this chap installs great confidence in his ability to correctly complete the task of changing an accessory, in the kitchen or not!

21-06-2005, 08:23 AM
Why fight an elderly man? It is unlikely he will change his ways however many regulations he may be contravening. Why not leave him in peace and move on?

21-06-2005, 08:39 AM
Why fight an elderly man? It is unlikely he will change his ways however many regulations he may be contravening. Why not leave him in peace and move on?

Yeah why not? Don't worry about the risk to your own lives, after all, he's old bless him. Some people eh? me, me, me

21-06-2005, 22:35 PM
Thanks ritchie...unfortunately, the world we live in includes friends...who will put us on a manslaughter charge when it goes wrong regardless of age. Challenge him. If it's wrong it's wrong no matter how old you are. Maybe the lawstudent will appreciate this when he represents a case of neglect.! Elektratek

21-06-2005, 22:51 PM
I didn't suggest there was anything acceptable about what the landlord is doing here, I simply feel there is no point in banging one's head against a brick wall. Surely it makes more sense to move.

Andy Parker
22-06-2005, 07:49 AM
lawstudent - What about the safety of subsequent tenants?This landlord must be hounded into providing a de luxe repair service for no extra rent.

23-06-2005, 22:53 PM
All I have done is explain what work part P of the Building Regulations applies to and what it does not. It isn't someone elses opinion or copied from another site, it is my opinion. I also linked to the relevant approved document, for anyone who might like confirmation that my statement was correct direct from the horses mouth.

I appreciate you now saying you just quoted the NICEIC website, although if you has said that originally I would still have posted the true legal requirements but added that you must have misquoted them or they must have got it wrong.

If you want to discuss this thread with NICEIC by all means do so. Thier website is of no concern to me vis a vis the Building Regulations. Why would I look at thier website when all I will ever need to know can be got straight from the regulations, approved documents and relevant standards, codes of practice etc?

I would advise anyone who wants to read up on any aspect of the building regulations is to use the the ODPM website, that way you get it from the horses mouth. I would also advise people to be wary of what any tradesman tells you Must be done and if in doubt check what you are being told with an independent source. Your local building control department will tell you what work has to comply with any part of the building regulations. Tradesmen sometimes get it wrong, sometimes I suspect they do so on purpose so that they can get paid for unnecessary work, but perhaps that is uncharitable of me.

Finally I advised using a qualified electrician even when it was not legally required unless one knew what one was doing.

You said
you need to be Part 'P' approved as an alectrician to carry out work in a kitchen under the new laws. and that is wrong, whether that is your error or NICEIC's error. I am sorry if my correction has upset you, that was not my intention. My intention, as always, is to ensure that people get the correct information and don't get ripped off.

24-06-2005, 08:18 AM
Explanation here (http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_buildreg/documents/page/odpm_breg_033480.hcsp)