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Sunday 22nd September 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 61


9:45 AM, 10th April 2021, About 6 months ago

Smart Meter Installation - thoughts please?

BEWARE. These have been fitted in a number of our properties and every one has been a disaster. The only plus is that your supplier can get accurate readings remotely which is particularly useful for tenancy starts and ends. The majority of the problems arise because there are a very limited number of companies installing them, all effectively subcontracting to the suppliers. Their fitters are at best low skilled and unbelievably THEY ARE NOT even Gas Safe registered, yet they are carrying out major gas alterations and installations and are authorised, indeed instructed to check all the gas installations and appliances in the property. In theory this means you need to have a new gas cert carried out as they are not qualified to do so.
They likewise check all the electrical installation although again they are not qualified to do an EICR
The worst we have experienced (installed by Siemens) was where they switched off the gas and issued an unsafe notice, you can imagine how concerned that made our tenants. Their reason was that the flue leaving the back of the boiler and going through the wall was not properly sealed and they could see daylight meaning CO could re-enter the building. What they had failed to spot was that the boiler did not back onto an outside wall. The flue they condemned was simply passing through a partition wall on its way to the outside wall where it had a fully approved and tested air tight seal. I contacted the "engineer" and Siemens but they said, no problem if you are satisfied it is safe just remove the tape and turn the supply back on. I probably can't repeat on here what Gas Safe had to say about that but suffice to say that would have been illegal I had to get a proper engineer to have it retested and a new gas safe certificate issued.
This was the worst incident but we have encountered problems with every one. Unfortunately many tenants believe it will save them money, when of course it won't unless they turn things off to reduce the usage.
Sadly as things stand it is a legal requirement to have them changed by 2025 (June I think).... Read More


12:05 PM, 6th March 2021, About 7 months ago

Tenants using roof space as storage without permission?

We learnt at our cost to always exclude loft space from the let. Not because we want to but because we had not realised that under the interpretation of H&S you have to ensure there is adequate lighting, safe access (proper loft ladder with handrails on either side), proper flooring etc, etc.
If your tenants are good tenants, review the safety requirements and bring it up to spec.
Good luck
Mike... Read More


9:24 AM, 7th November 2020, About 11 months ago

Tenants are a nightmare for allowing workman in - EICR?

Hi Steve,
I think we have your tenants brother in one of our properties. They are paranoid about contactors in the property even without cv and lockdown.
In view of age of electrics, I guarantee you property will fail on things like: -
Have all circuits got RCD protection
Have all lights got earth (if any metal fittings)
is any high level trunking either metal or secured with metal fixings
Are all bathroom fittings clearly marked to confirm zone suitability
etc, etc.
The legislation requires that the landlord must make best endeavours but cannot insist on the necessary access.
I have made sure that I have a paper trail to show how hard we have tried and that the tenant has exercised their right to refuse.
Knowing what our tenant is like I sought access to "carry out the test, all essential upgrades and certification" Otherwise if you just seek access for the test which reveals major faults that he won't allow you to repair you are opening up a whole can of worms. It is one thing trying to gain access with no known defects but quite another to allow them to live there if "dangers" are known.
Very best of luck. I share your problem.
And of course a great many thanks to the numpties of Westminster who think continuing implementing this during a pandemic is a good idea.... Read More


10:31 AM, 1st September 2020, About A year ago

New Electrical Installation Condition Report Rules July 2020?

Just had 9 properties tested by an electrician I would not use again. However, all 9 properties have come back as unsatisfactory. I have never considered myself a bad landlord and have always checked that gas, electric and all utilities are safe...or so I thought.
With regard to the electrics we have always checked at least every 6 months, upgraded any boards to accommodate trip fuses and replaced any fittings showing signs of damage, cracking or arcing.
The certificates report that all circuits must have an RCD. Where these now have to be fitted retrospectively they report that as works are being carried out the Fuse boards must be changed to new compliant metal ones. They are quoting version 18 of the guide as the benchmark.
Is it correct that all revisions and upgrades must be carried out retrospectively to this standard.
3 of our properties are purpose built between 2005 and 2007 and have all failed on these same reasons.
Additionally, one has failed as they could not find a gas bond on the meter which is outside the block. There are 12 flats all the same, built 2005 and the 5 which are rented all hold gas safe certificates. Is it my job to find the earthing bond or should the electrician be able to test with a meter.
Any advice gratefully received.... Read More


8:52 AM, 22nd August 2020, About A year ago

Thank heavens for landlords

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 17/08/2020 - 11:52
I note in particular your comments that "You are involved in providing one of the the items that is basically required for any reasonable person to live. A roof over ones head is a necessity, so by profiting from that, you have already been put into a bad light."
An even more basic requirement is food and drink. Would you consider bars, restaurants and food supermarkets in the same light as landlords. Should those in need be allowed to eat and drink their fill, help themselves to supplies and walk away without paying. Should the government step in with legislation to ensure they cannot be stopped or apprehended or face any form of prosecution during these difficult times.... Read More