Access to electrical cupboard withheld?

by Readers Question

8:47 AM, 29th October 2019
About A year ago

Access to electrical cupboard withheld?

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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


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Comments

Paul McCarthy

8:22 AM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 01/11/2019 - 08:16
EXACTLY. They say call out the power company... its ridiculous.

Since my post-it moved on. They contacted the power supplier who confirmed no one but them or an electrician should enter the cupboard (madness), but the management co said only theirs can enter, and their sparky doesn't work out of hours. I just can't seem to win here!

Paul Shears

8:54 AM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul McCarthy at 01/11/2019 - 08:22
It's pretty obvious that this "management" company is a total fraud as the staff are simply not up to the job. I think you need to look elsewhere to get sufficient influence to force thier compliance.
You can totally forget about the consequences of upsetting them as they are only ever going to be a totally obstructive burden anyway. Your problem here is not anything to do with the meters. Your problem is the calibre of staff in the "management" company. When you win this battle, it is inevitable that more will follow later with the next requirement for any form of judgement on their part.
I try very hard to keep the involvement of people like this out of my own life. Doctors, dentists, tenants, tradesmen, all are repeatedly rejected. It reduces my wealth but it increases my quality of life.

Puzzler

14:56 PM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Is this a residential management company or agent? if the former, it's quite possible they are outside their authority. I would have thought, although I don't know, that a resident has a right to check their meter whenever they wish.

My suggestion would be to ring any power company yourself to check this (each flat may have a different supplier) and if they say it's rubbish ask them to put it in writing or refer you to something you can quote

Puzzler

15:19 PM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 01/11/2019 - 14:56
https://mocopa.org.uk/documents/mocopa

Installation of meter guidance - bottom of p72 - must be placed so consumer can access

Paul McCarthy

16:03 PM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 01/11/2019 - 15:19
Thank very much to you and everyone for your help. I think I am never going to get anywhere with this managing agent and residents association...

I did speak to the electrician who manages the block, he laughed and said they are a real pain. He will replace the lock and all I need to do is get an FB1 key to get access...just not to tell them he told me.

Paul Shears

17:29 PM, 1st November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul McCarthy at 01/11/2019 - 16:03
Pragmatic. 🙂

___ baldelectrician

10:14 AM, 2nd November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul McCarthy at 01/11/2019 - 16:03
Write to the management company and let them know you respect their views but should it trip again out of hours you will have no option to put the tenent in a hotel until you can have the issue resolved and will invoice them for the cost.

On an electrical side-
You need better discrimination (nothing about ginger people), the protective device at the consumers installation should trip before one near the meter.

Put photos of the consumer unit and meter / isoaltor up please.

Paul Shears

10:42 AM, 2nd November 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by ___ baldelectrician at 02/11/2019 - 10:14
"the protective device at the consumers installation should trip before one near the meter."
You are quite right technically. However it is certainly not unknown that, in practice, a low fuse rating does not actually fail as it is designed to do, and it then passes on a surge of power to a higher fused point.
This is rare but, in practice, it does actually happen. This is yet another reason for the mismanagement company to be brought into line with common sense and their duty of care.

Gracie

14:38 PM, 2nd November 2019
About A year ago

I'm pretty sure that managing agents job description requirements are to be evasive, obstructive and lazy. I'm amazed that any flat OWNER isn't deemed responsible / trustworthy enough to have access to his property's meters, in most cases we're more interested in our property's true welfare than the MAs are, who only see £££s.
How a power supplier can determine that is beyond me.

Kulasmiley

8:27 AM, 5th November 2019
About A year ago

Contact your local authority enforcement officer to inspect as this can be deemed as a risk to your tenant as access to the meter is extremely important in case of a 🔥 fire where main trio switched may need to be isolated.

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