EICR work required but I have a section 21 problem tenant?

EICR work required but I have a section 21 problem tenant?

10:09 AM, 16th February 2021, About A year ago 47

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Where do you stand if EICR work might need doing, but you have a broken relationship with a problem tenant who scared the electrician away and stated no electrical work will be done in the house?

A satisfactory report was given last June with a recommendation to install sockets in bedrooms due to there only being one socket currently in the bedrooms (this has obviously dragged on so long due to covid). The tenant was served a section 21 for various reasons including subletting, so I had no choice, but to ask them to leave. They are due to leave on the 1st April, but I know they will hang on>

I have the texts from them saying no electrical work will be done. I also had the same issue with the gas inspection due.

Where do you stand with these situations?
Many thanks

Darryn



Comments

steve p

15:48 PM, 18th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 18/02/2021 - 14:34
I honestly would really doubt many if any electricians would ever put not enough sockets as a C2. I totally understand where you are coming from but I think you are worrying about something that is not an issue, if I saw unsafe extension leads etc I would probably mark not enough sockets as C3 and tell tenant not to run extension leads there..

I personally think its wrong that two identical properties you would C3 an empty property but potentially C2 an over occupied property. But this is where the "woolyness" can more often than not work in your favour as if you said well it could potentially be a C2 so every property without adequate sockets (And define exactly what is adequate) should be a C2 then that would be black and white but would be nuts as you might say every bedroom must have 2 double sockets, a tiny box room used only for storage with 3 single sockets would be a C2, that would be crazy... Thats why it is so grey.

Seething Landlord

0:04 AM, 19th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by steve p at 18/02/2021 - 15:29
Thanks for your detailed reply.
Point 1: You are undoubtedly correct, but what you have described is unsafe practice by the user. A shortage of sockets probably makes this more likely but however many are provided it is still quite possible for one or more to be dangerously overloaded. The likelihood of abuse cannot mean that the fixed electrical cables or fixed electrical equipment do not meet the standards in the Wiring Regulations, which is all that the report is supposed to address.

Point 2: The landlord is not in fact transferring his liability to the electrician. All that he does by obtaining a report is comply with the requirement of the Regulations to do so. He has a continuing absolute duty to "ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy", regardless of when and whether a report was obtained. Breaches can attract potentially crippling financial penalties and that is why it is vital that compliance is measured against clear, objective criteria.

Point 3: I agree and have been making that point at every opportunity for the past year. The trouble is that a Court will interpret the Regulations based on what they actually say rather than what Government and/or the Industry intended or think they ought to say.

Seething Landlord

0:30 AM, 19th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by steve p at 18/02/2021 - 15:48
I do not see how a matter that is apparently not covered by the Wiring Regulations (adequate number of socket outlets - please somebody tell me if there is anything about this in the Regulations) can even be legitimately mentioned in a report that is supposed to establish nothing more than whether the fixed wiring and fixed electrical equipment meet the standards in the Regulations.

Your second paragraph identifies other reasons why the matter should not be addressed in the report.

michaelwgroves

9:51 AM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

In response to the original question; as you have a satisfactory report, that is sufficient for to s21. But as a responsible landlord you should install more sockets in the foreseeable future.

In response to further comments, lack of sockets is covered by regulation 553.1.7
"Where mobile equipment is likely to be used, provision shall be made so that the equipment can be fed from an adjacent and conveniently accessible socket-outlet, taking account of the length of flexible cable normally fitted to portable appliances and luminaires"
Therefore it is correctly mentioned on EICR's. Typically you would give a C3, but if there are signs of overheating, this would warrant a C2.

Seething Landlord

12:11 PM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by michaelwgroves at 20/02/2021 - 09:51
Thanks for quoting the regulation. I now understand why it might be considered appropriate to include the number of sockets in the inspection and testing and to give a C3 recommendation in certain circumstances. However, I remain of the view that any requirement that could attract a financial penalty should be clearly expressed and not dependent on subjective opinion or variable conditions.

I find it frustrating that the complete Wiring Regulations are not freely available online, particularly as we have a duty to comply with them at all times.

michaelwgroves

13:19 PM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 20/02/2021 - 12:11
It’s worth noting as mentioned earlier, the responsibility transfers to the electrician who completes the EICR. A layman could not realistically be aware of all the regulations.

It’s also worth noting, 5 years is the maximum an EICR is valid for. The duration is based on a risk assessment. Don’t be surprised if an electrician gives 1 year on a poorly maintained installation.

Seething Landlord

14:21 PM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by michaelwgroves at 20/02/2021 - 13:19
What responsibility do you consider transfers to the electrician who completes the EICR? The Regulations place the over-riding responsibility squarely on the landlord:

3.—(1) A private landlord who grants or intends to grant a specified tenancy must—
(a) ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy;

michaelwgroves

14:52 PM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

By obtaining a "satisfactory" EICR the landlord has fulfilled his obligation.

If the electrician who completes the report is negligent and fails to spot a dangerous situation, it is now his head in the noose. A layman can not be expected to be suitably qualified to oversee and EICR or Gas safely report.
Albeit, beware of limitations on the report. If you agree to only complete a partial test, and this part of the installation is dangerous, your head is back in the noose.
Like everything, you get what you pay for, if you want a report, you can get these for under £100, but if you want to know if your electrics are safe, expect to pay a lot more. As a minimum, this is half a days work. Sure you can do half the tests in half the time, but you might just miss an important issue.

Seething Landlord

23:01 PM, 20th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by michaelwgroves at 20/02/2021 - 14:52
The only obligation that the landlord has fulfilled by obtaining a satisfactory EICR is the obligation to "ensure every electrical installation in the residential premises is inspected and tested at regular intervals by a qualified person;"

He will not have fulfilled the more onerous obligation to "ensure that the electrical safety standards are met during any period when the residential premises are occupied under a specified tenancy" In view of your warning about limitations there is no guarantee that he is fulfilling that obligation even at the very time that the inspection and testing takes place.

If the report does not confirm that the electrics are safe, what is the point of it other than as a box ticking exercise to meet the obligation to obtain such a report?

I agree that a layman can not be expected to be suitably qualified to oversee an EICR but how then can he be expected to ensure that the electrical safety standards are met throughout the tenancy?

As for transferring responsibility to the electrician, you have rightly said that he is obliged to carry out his work to a proper standard within the limitations, but that is the extent of his responsibility. The Regulations make no provision for financial penalties for anyone other than the landlord. In the event of fire or injury your insurers would undoubtedly argue that whatever caused it was beyond the scope of the report and/or had arisen after its completion.

Bob S View Profile

9:57 AM, 22nd February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 18/02/2021 - 15:42
Just to continue this ricochet thread briefly.

What is the route for redress? The LLs head is in the noose as the first port of call for the HSE. A trade, rightly elevated to that of competent person for the needs identified by government legislation is relied upon but starts to use the P word in describing what they do. Does that trade person carry Professional Indemnity insurance for the reliant LL to pursue? Would claims for poor judgement by the competent person be covered by public liability, employers liability or tool theft liability as in a standard tradesman insurance ?

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