Charging e-scooters in the house?

Charging e-scooters in the house?

0:01 AM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago 11

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Hello, I have two tenants, who pay on time and look after the house well and I would like to keep them on as tenants. However, I am a bit worried as one has an e-scooter which he rides to work and charges the scooter in the house.

I am now getting paranoid that there will be a fire when he charges it. I will check out more about the battery and charger but expect to find that they are okay and not modified.

I am also paranoid that when it comes to re-insuring the house I will not get cover for this.

Does anyone have experience of this?

TIA,

Caroline

Editor’s note: Jason McClean from the Home Insurer said: “If the client has insurance covering ‘Fire’ then all should be covered in the event of a fire – depending on the terms of their exact policy (it may exclude fires caused by e-scooters for example). They need to read the terms and conditions of their own policy carefully.”


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Comments

Robert Sled

9:35 AM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

If you want him to charge it outside it would be wise to think about providing a small locker or shed with a power source. If you don't make it easy to comply with it he will not comply with it. Remind him that you care about his safety and the safety of the building and show him plenty of pictures of what goes wrong when these devices set on fire.
Make sure that you have everything in place for him as the alternative before you tell him he's not supposed to charge it indoors. A small garden box with a lock can be put up in minutes and a power line extension can easily be run through a partially opened window (my way would be to use a simple extension cable run through a window frame. Just drill a hole for the cable, thread it through and put a plug on it. Use silicone to seal the hole when it's all plugged in and in place.)
These things are definitely becoming common, so it would be wise for landlords to think about charging solutions for tenants, like garden lock boxes

Caroline Hall

9:46 AM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Sled at 16/05/2023 - 09:35
I had already thought about doing this. However I read that the batteries or chargers degrade or stop working if temps fall below zero which can happen in the winter. Turns out however that he has stopped using it as the battery which he bought in Spain has gone kaput and he felt unsafe riding on the road anyway. I had long chat with him last night. They are very easy to deal with and we approach everything as something to jointly solve. But if he wants to use it again then we will look at this or him getting personal insurance as suggested. I rang a few letting agents who seemed clueless. But increasinly they are getting banned as at the University of Cambridge, in flats and on trains

Michael Freer

10:08 AM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

If you have such a good relationship with the tenants, it might be worth pointing out that privately owned ones can only be used on private land with the owner's consent.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters

I've heard unverified stories that when the police catch people on them, they simply confiscate and crush them.

Judith Wordsworth

12:58 PM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

You do know it is illegal to use these e-scooters on the public highway as Michael Freer has said.

If you provide separate power source for charging these e-scooters you could be held party to their illegality?

Caroline Hall

19:43 PM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Freer at 16/05/2023 - 10:08
Yes, I only found out he had one when he sent me a video. He is from Madrid where they are legal. My tenancy agreement actually says no bikes in the house but e scooters have not been in my mind. So when I saw it there my first respinse was that it would not damage the flooring. He had not started using it but had brought it from Spain on the plane. Anyhow he then got this job which involves a train journey. He got a visa as his partner's dependent. So anyhow he started using it. I asked him if he knew it was illegal. He said yes, hesitant about it. The police do nothing where they live. At this juncture I had not woken up to the risks involved re charging. Anyhow as I found out last night he has stopped using it as battery went kaput and he felt unsafe on the road. He is using a bike now. He wont use it again. He understood my concern. I shall write it into any future contracts, no e scooters in the house.

Caroline Hall

19:49 PM, 16th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 16/05/2023 - 12:58
Yes interesting, you could be right. A minefield. Anyhow he is no longer using it and I shall write it into their next contract that they cannit charge it in the house. Any future contract will ban them

Reluctant Landlord

9:57 AM, 17th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Caroline Hall at 16/05/2023 - 19:43
ditto - its going in my AST's too,.

Michael Freer

11:42 AM, 17th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Playing the devil's advocate, what about charging battery-assisted bicycles that are legal and many are getting? Phones and other electronic devices also have chargeable batteries...

Charging Lithium batteries has its problems, and so do charged ones (hence you have to carry them onto planes rather than check them in). It tends to be (although not exclusively) about their quality and cheap chargers rather than anything inherently wrong with the technology.

Having a clause that says "only charge Lithium batteries when at least one person occupies the dwelling" makes more sense. I imagine it would be enough for an insurance company or, god forbid, a judge. However, it does not entirely eradicate the potential problems they can cause.

Reluctant Landlord

12:20 PM, 17th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Freer at 17/05/2023 - 11:42
like anything you can have anything in writing with the tenant but if they choose not to abide by it then there is little you can do. Insurance works on risk so they either cover 'fire and damage' for example in totality or they put in clauses. As long as these clauses are mitigated against then there is not a lot you can do. If a tenant breaks the contract specifically relating to this and you have proof then yes you can get them out under breach of contract.
If you issued the possession via the insurance legal cover then the insurance company themselves would be fully aware of the issue. They will take on the claim for you if they assess 51% chance of success. This way the insurance company themselves have in fact agreed by default to cover you for getting rid of a tenant who has breached their agreement (and in turn the conditions of your cover).

Robert Sled

16:37 PM, 17th May 2023, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Caroline Hall at 16/05/2023 - 09:46
They work in all temperatures. I have lots of experience in the field. They can be charged and used in any weather you can ride them in. If it were -40 outside it wouldn't do much, but no one rides scooters or ebikes in such weather.

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