Access to electrical cupboard withheld?

by Readers Question

8:47 AM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Access to electrical cupboard withheld?

Make Text Bigger
Access to electrical cupboard withheld?

I have a few apartments. The electrical meters etc. are communal and outside in a cupboard. The management agent refuses to let me have keys. I have asked many times.

So, the inevitable happens. Out of hours, my pregnant tenant loses power. I call a sparky, he says it can only be solved by accessing the cupboard

I have NO emergency landlord info or agent info, so I ask him to get in there and get it sorted. He drills the lock and finds it tripped, a quick switch up and it’s back on. Now if we had a key we could easily have doe this and I’m left with a £180 bill.

I today emailed the management company to tell them (I could have said nothing, but this wouldn’t be right I felt).

I had a blistering response and a “formal letter” coming to me.

My reply is, if you give me no access, no contact info and no way to get my electrics back on what am I supposed to do?

Is there a legal requirement to provide access/keys etc.. etc?? It seems barmy to me that this is allowed to happen. They say H&S, as usual.

Any advice/opinions would be greatly received.

Many Thanks.

Paul



Comments

Paul Shears

9:20 AM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Given that the lady is pregnant, I wonder if this can be supported in any way by the police. If so that might produce the necessary attitude adjustment from the management obstruction company.

Rob Crawford

9:45 AM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Who employs the management company? You need to remind the management company that they work for you and insist that provision for access to electrical consumer units etc in and out of working hours is made. There is a safety issue here as well, in the event that the electrical supply needs to be isolated for instance in the case of an appliance fire.

Chris Clare

10:03 AM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I am not sure whether this helps but I remember a situation that whilst not the same may give you some ammunition with the Management Company.

I owned a shop and a flat which were both on the same supply. I needed to separate the supply. Scottish Power said to run a new armoured cable up the front of the building was £3,000 however if I have control of both properties and unfettered access they could run it inside for £500.

I chose the cheaper option but they did stress I had to legally have unrestricted access by law or they would not be able to do it. They said in the event of a serious fault I had to be able to access the master fuse immediately.

With this in mind your best weapon may be the electricity board themselves. If you do some research as to the validity of this point, once confirmed tell the management agent that you are within your rights to report them to the electricity board as this is a health and fire risk.

See what happens.

Mike

12:06 PM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

guilty as hell the management company.

Ian Narbeth

14:50 PM, 29th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Hi Paul
Your tenancy agreement is unlikely to contain anything directly in point. However, the lease will usually contain or if not there will readily be implied a covenant for quiet enjoyment.
This means that the landlord (through whom the managing agents will derive their rights) must not do anything inconsistent with the landlord/tenant relationship. There is a good argument that not allowing ready access to the electrical cupboard is a breach of this. The electricity being off for many hours or even over the weekend is potentially very serious and could even be life threatening.
You probably need to get a solicitor to write to them. Unfortunately this may sour relations so if you can, try to resolve matters amicably. Can they not use a key code and employ an out of hours service to enable residents to get emergency access?

David Atkins

7:25 AM, 30th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

You should have access to isolate circuits should an appliance be faulty. This is from ARMA the professional body governing block managers. “Individual meter cupboards (like shown in the picture overleaf ) should be locked, but residents and/or landlords should still be able to gain access to the equipment to take meter readings etc.”

https://arma.org.uk/downloader/bf8/ESC_Guidance_Communal_Areas.pdf

David Atkins

7:27 AM, 30th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

We have started putting digilocks on ours so kids can’t get in but responsible adults can.

Paul McCarthy

11:56 AM, 30th October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by David Atkins at 30/10/2019 - 07:25
Thank you for this but I cannot see where it states that comment...could you point it out, please?? Much appreciated!!

Martin

9:01 AM, 31st October 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Page 31, half way down.

Puzzler

8:16 AM, 1st November 2019
About 2 weeks ago

How are you supposed to read your meter?

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Shelter blame B&Bs on private landlords!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More