Chris Sandeman

Registered with Property118.com
Friday 14th August 2015


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 11

Chris Sandeman

5:06 AM, 23rd January 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Adding new tenant to existing tenancy and costs?

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 22/01/2020 - 15:14
Thank you for the correction - just as well I don't hold the deposits. Deposits can either be passed to one of the three government approved companies (TDS, DPS or MyDeposits) or must be insured by one of them if the deposit is held by the landlord or agent.... Read More

Chris Sandeman

17:02 PM, 21st January 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Adding new tenant to existing tenancy and costs?

You're right, you must treat it as a new tenancy, with reference and right to rent checks on the new person followed by a new AST for a minimum of 6 months which should name the two people jointly as "the tenant".

Unless the inventory is well out of date, or there has been significant damage, you may not need a formal check out/in. Ask the new person to check the inventory themselves and see if they are willing to sign it. If the deposit is already at the maximum 5 weeks rent then the new person would need to pay half the deposit to the other, so that they have an equal share in it. This would avoid having to do anything with the existing protected deposit.

Because the existing tenant is effectively asking for early termination you may be able to pass on some costs - your agent should be able to advise you about this.... Read More

Chris Sandeman

8:07 AM, 21st January 2020
About a month ago

New electrical checks and safety standards for Landlords

Reply to the comment left by Ian Morgan at 20/01/2020 - 19:33
Thank you for confirming the arrangement for switching to an earth rod and TT earthing system. I think you may be right about lack of understanding, I suspect the mains earth was not disconnected, but wasn’t there to see; one earth rod gave Ze of 8.5 Ω, the second got Ze down to 5.6 Ω.

I didn’t really think the CH programmer was a coincidence, but of course it added to the cost of work and inconvenience for the tenants who had to depend on the immersion heater (what’s that?) for several days.... Read More

Chris Sandeman

7:56 AM, 21st January 2020
About a month ago

New electrical checks and safety standards for Landlords

Reply to the comment left by EECLondon at 20/01/2020 - 18:11
Thank you very much for your guidance about earth rods and the TT earthing system which I expect will be helpful in the near future for many more landlords in London who are customers of UK Power Networks.... Read More

Chris Sandeman

17:09 PM, 20th January 2020
About a month ago

New electrical checks and safety standards for Landlords

I decided to upgrade the consumer unit in my first rental as it did not have RCDs. The contractor replaced it with a metal unit with RCDs and recommended re-inspection in 5 years. The cost was £350 excl. VAT in Aug 2017. Note the new unit was much wider than the old one, with space for 16 MCBs (one RCD is the width of 2 MCBs) as opposed to 7 MCBS in the original unit.

I put off doing my second property, a Victorian terraced (3 bed 2 recep) in London, as I was worried it would need rewiring after more than 30 years – which as others have pointed out would mean evicting the tenants. I finally took a gamble and upgraded the consumer unit in Sep 2019, but this turned out to be a more difficult story.

A fault on one ring main proved hard to find, the gas board had not bonded the gas main to the power, the CH programmer coincidentally gave up the ghost during testing, a brass light fitting had to be removed, a double socket and a broken lampshade retainer had to be replaced. After that the problem remained that the external earthing provided through the mains was out of spec at Ze=25.7 Ω (I think spec is 0.8 Ω or less). My understanding is that UK Power Networks, who own and maintain the cables in London and the southeast, no longer accepts responsibility for providing an earth. So I agreed that the electrician should install an earth rod, and then a second one, which eventually got Ze down to 5.6 Ω.

The cost of supply/ installing the new 18th edition consumer unit (with RCD for upstairs / RCBO for downstairs) and testing was £380 excl.VAT, but with the rest of the work the final cost came to £1,175 excl.VAT. The EICR noted that Ze was still 5.6 Ω and recommended contacting UK Power Networks, and that the system be inspected again in just 1 year.

The quotations I got in London for installing the new consumer unit and testing ranged from £380 to £680 excl.VAT. Testing alone costs between £150 and £220 excl.VAT. You can easily check whether your electrician is a NICEIC Approved Domestic Installer and Contractor through their online database.

I would be interested to hear what our sparkys (Ian Morgan, Jk, EEC London) think about the earth problem, but in conclusion many of the fears expressed here seem quite justified to me. Of course there won’t be enough electricians for all the work involved, it can easily take most of a day to inspect one property if a fault needs finding. And if it has to be done at every change in tenancy – that could mean every 6 months!

In addition, my London tenants, because they were inconvenienced by the work, were totally unappreciative that I was voluntarily improving their safety.... Read More