steve p

Registered with
Tuesday 15th September 2015

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 132

steve p

10:20 AM, 19th May 2021, About 2 months ago

Carer's allowance claim v rental income

Hi Collette.

What I found from my experience of carers allowance is the following..

- Properties in a limited company are not counted (as long as you dont draw a salary from the company above the threshold) as they are a separate legal entity. (Dividends and interest income dont count so you can use that to get money from the company)

- If you hold property in your own name then it all depends on how those properties were acquired. You are allowed one property that was bought as a rental property, if you rent out previously live in property or you rent out property that has been left to you after a death then these are not counted as they think you were not trying to create a business and you are an 'accidental landlord'.

It seems really strange you could have 50 properties that were your previous residence and your fine as you are an accidental landlord, or 50 properties in a ltd company and your fine, yet 2 properties in your own name bought specifically as rentals and nope you don't qualify. Its a very grey area as you could maybe argue if a property was bought to live in but a job fell through so you rented it, or you bought the property for a family member to live in but they passed away before moving in. For them its about your intent, if you have more than 1 property in your name you are seen as trying to earn a living as a landlord so you don't qualify, if you are an accidental landlord and with no other earned income then you are not trying to earn a living as a landlord.

They have what is called Decision makers guides... Goggle "Volume 3, Chapter 15, entitled 'Earnings for non-income-related benefits':"... Read More

steve p

13:06 PM, 17th May 2021, About 2 months ago

New EICR to cover any changes made by outgoing tenant?

Reply to the comment left by Roger P at 15/05/2021 - 14:42
I agree there are some electricians that are not doing a good enough job...

I would say on the flip side as an electrician there are plenty of landlords that are also doing dodgy things. I didnt do the EICR but asked to quote for remedial works on a flat, both consumer units (on peak and off peak) required replacement as they were dangerous. Obviously was never going to be a cheap job, landlords response was "No thats too expensive I dont have any money. Well ive done the EICR so thats all I need to do. Forget it im not going to bother", this is from someone I did work for that just sold a flat for over £300k and spent £130 on a light fitting that I said just replace it with like a £30 light fitting. I dont care if she gets it done by me or someone else but the work needs doing, there are plenty of properties both rental and owner occupier that are frankly dangerous. Just last week on friday came across an outside light spured from the ring final circuit on 1.5mm cable with the only protection being a 32A mcb..

I personally am not a fan of doing EICR's as even I have to reduce my prices as its so competitive, I get less than my usual rate, so when electricians are having to make less on EICR's because estate agents are dictating how much they are willing to pay, its no wonder dodgy practices like finding extra work or charging more for remedials is happening.... Read More

steve p

23:10 PM, 9th May 2021, About 3 months ago

Tenant said it would cost thousands to get her out?

I wonder if its dangerous enough the LA could deem the property not fit for habitation with the refusal of letting an electrician in to carry out the work, this would mean the tenant would have to leave. Save eviction proceedings..

Although I understand its a lot of disruption for the tenant frankly there are not enough properties out there an a who load of tenants that want properties, unfortunately though even when the ban ends there is going to be a massive backlog so yes it will cost thousands to get her out.

I would say though if you have evidence from your electrician that he has tried on multiple occasions (I was told 3) to do the works and the tenant has refused then you have met your obligation, just inform the LA. If they want to press the issue they can by saying the property is not safe, if they wont then its the tenants risk.... Read More

steve p

13:37 PM, 7th May 2021, About 3 months ago

New EICR to cover any changes made by outgoing tenant?

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 06/05/2021 - 18:11
I think Mike's comments are fair, I would like to explain some points and how I personally avoid those issues.

1 - Taking connections in and out can damage them.

Yes you are totally correct they can be damaged, so there are a couple of dead tests than can mean you need to do this however however I would point out that if you look at an mcb then the terminals are not like a socket they are like two plates that come together to squash the conductor, by not having the screw action the risk to damage is minimal. Part of the testing regime entails connecting to live to cpc for the continuity of earth test and live to neutral for insulation resistance, this can be done on none RCBO boards (99% are non RCBO) by connecting to the busbar and then turning on the mcb, (its all dead), this creates a path to the live without having to remove it from its terminal. When we check the sockets etc we generally dont need to pull them out apart from maybe one to do end to end testing but the risks are minimal and the possible gain of finding an issue far outweighs the negative. Your concern for stranded conductors is founded however best practice now and if I ever do need to remove stranded conductors is I ferrule them up so its not an issue. If cables get so short you need to remake them in most scenarios inline connectors can be used to extend them.

2. If you do not touch wiring for 20 years nothing can go wrong

This is totally wrong, nails put in walls can damage cables, the effects of creep where the heating and cooling can loosen screws so this is not true.

3. No need to subject wires to 500v

The insulation resistance test of 500v is DC not as and is done at very low current so will not damage the cabling, the only damage that can occur is connected loads if doing the test between live and neutral, to avoid this generally on an EICR the live to neutral (Seen as live to live on the sheet) is a limitation, for the live to cpc we connect live and neutral and test to cpc, this means the voltage potential between live and neutral is 0v so will not damage anything. It is an important test to see if the insulation is breaking down or if there is damage to a cable. But I can assure you it will not damage the cable, remember the testers we use generally have about 8 x 1.5volt AA batteries in them, there is no way they would be able to create enough current to damage the cabling.

3. The more you unscrew the more it can cause issues

This is totally correct which is why we use sampling, generally you start with 10% and in most cases that is all that is needed, only if you see issues would you increase the sampling size, this is done to do exactly as you say avoid damage

4. my own home wiring conducted 45 years ago, that to date has never failed

There is a difference between not failing and being safe, normally everything is fine, it is only in fault conditions that it can become unsafe, often that is what we are looking for and yes its unlikely fault conditions will occur however they do occur and its then that it can become dangerous. Tenanted properties can often be more susceptible because changing tenants have different amount of loads and use the electrical system differently which could be more likely to cause an issue on a working but unsafe under certain circumstances wiring.

4. 32A ring is dangerous

Yes and no, the problem with ring circuits is that a cable can break and everything will still work but its not safe, but we have used rings for long time and its only in overload rather than fault short circuit condition that a ring that is broken is particularly dangerous, rings are not dangerous and have been in place for many years and as long as nobody messes with them and they are tested periodically they are not unsafe. Although houses dont have electric fires etc, they do have so much more loads, kettles, toasters, washing machine, dish washer, computers, TV, sound systems car chargers, hobs, ovens etc etc etc. We are using more power in our homes than we ever have.... Read More

steve p

15:34 PM, 5th May 2021, About 3 months ago

New EICR to cover any changes made by outgoing tenant?

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 05/05/2021 - 00:41
Gary, Both Paul and myself who are electricians have given the exact same information. I am not sure who your rant was aimed at but guessing Paul. We all as landlord get annoyed and think its totally unfair that people see us as money grabbing scum of the earth. Yet you made some wild accusations about electricians and the Competent persons schemes that were in the same vain..

Although I think my response was more measured I can understand the frustrations of electricians when landlords think they know better and just want a pass, I have heard of landlords only willing to pay electricians if they give them a satisfactory. Now this is a minority but you demanding or threatening an electrician if they dont take some wording off that is totally inline with the industry body is the sort of behaviour that gets landlords a bad name.

I don't quite understand your rant about experts, I can only assume about Paul but personally I have all the relevant qualifications to be called a fully qualified electrician, unless you have qualifications beyond both mine and Pauls and can come back with a valid argument to your comments I would consider us to have more expertise in the area than you do.

I don't wish to ridicule you and I don't think that was Paul's intention although his language was maybe a bit more combative that necessary. Our "expert" opinion as you call it is based on being qualified and backed up by evidence, I would be happy to listen to your argument if you could back it up with qualified arguments that are backed up by evidence.

You are correct the British Standards are not law, they are a guide, and as an electrician we can deviate from them however if we do then we are taking all the liability if something goes wrong, by following BS7671 as an electrician we can be sure to meet other statutory laws such as electricity at work regulations and cover ourselves that the installation is safe, I am not sure where you are going with this argument as I doubt you would find an electrician in the UK fully qualified and registered with a CPS that will say they don't bother about BS7671 as its not law. Ill tell you the real reason its not law, because if it was then the information would be free, however by making it non-statutory it means every few years when they change the regs just a little bit they can fleece electricians for hundreds of pounds for new set of books.

You are correct this is a landlords forum, I have gained a lot of really good information from people that have expertise often as a first job in matters of tax or law etc and to give back the are that I can give expertise is electrical safety so I try to on this and other forums give information that I would normally charge customers for free. I mean no disrespect but the information you have given is not correct and not helpful so yes we will call you out on it, sorry if that upsets you.... Read More