Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I’m after some advice on a current (no pun) situation where it appears the tenants have dangerously rewired the Consumer Unit and tapped off the electricity before the meter, forfeiting all RCD safety.
The situation came to light when they complained that a gas engineer must have damaged something when he serviced the boiler “because it stopped working immediately after he left”.
On examination from a different gas engineer it was diagnosed to be a mains electrical problem and not the boiler. I immediately contacted an electrician to attend to this and hence we found the rewiring.
The tenants are claiming to be innocent of course, but I don’t believe them. They have lived there for about 4 years and I’m pretty sure that the tenants previously had not done this. In an attempt to ‘play innocent’ one of the tenants even video called me on Whatsapp to ‘show me’ what the electrician had found. I asked him to show me an electricity bill, which he waved about until I asked for it to be still, and it read £37. This was a quarterly bill.
Although they have always paid their rent on time, the flat has been terribly uncared for in their tenancy to the point where easily 60% of the walls of the property have been severely affected by mould due to condensation. The excuse is that it is too cold to open the windows…… No problems with previous tenants I might add.
The tenancy was originally only for two brothers but some time after it became apparent that there were also two young children and ‘possibly’ a girlfriend also living there.
We ended up taking a commercial point of view on it by accepting that there was no way we could rent that property out to anyone else in its condition and as they always paid their rent on time we let the dilapidation issue be. Thankfully one of the brothers (with the children and girlfriend) has some time ago said they wanted to leave as they were applying for a council flat and we’re just waiting for council approval and to get on the waiting list.
We all agreed to issue them a section 21 to aid in this process, but as you know the council only sees that as intention and not action so we were waiting patiently, until now.
In light of the danger to our property, the block of 30flats, his children and news of the recent fire at the tower block in London we wonder how we might pursue this. We have alerted the utility company who said they have been on radar due to low bills so that is one thing. But what about the dangerous rewiring? Hard to prove until we can get bill history from the suppliers, but what if/when we do?
Do we call the police? Do we issue a section 8? Do we call social services? Do we call the housing department at the council? They are already getting some housing allowance, we think. I just feel their irresponsibility has reached a point of requiring action and feel they should be pulled-up for their actions.
Thank you in advance
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