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Landlord resonsibility


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Hi everyone, would really appreciate if anyone can advise me on this matter…

I have recently purchased a property in January 2021 and naively did not pay to have a full survey done. I sent an electrician in to do the now compulsory Electrical Installation Condition Report and he has basically said the house needs a complete £3,000 rewire, lots of potential dangerous C2s on the report. Now I can appreciate the property was ‘bought as seen’ so there is not much I can do on that front. However, the property was bought with a tenant in situ. Am I right in saying this property was not fit to be let in its current state and that the previous owner should be liable for the costs? I found this online: 

Under the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985, landlords must ensure that the water, gas, sanitation, and electricity installations within their properties are kept in good repair and in proper working order. 

In summary, the law states that all landlords must: 

• Ensure that all electrical installations (including wiring, plug sockets and light fittings) and appliances are safe before new tenants move into a property. 

• Ensure that all electrical installations and appliances are maintained in a safe condition throughout the duration of the tenancy.

I am basically paying to do the repairs he should have done. Would that stand up in court for me to try to reclaim costs? Thank you in advance.

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Hi Shawn

Without ready the full report its impossible to say whether the electrical wiring in your property is unsafe.

Granted it may not be upto modern standards that an EICR is gauged upon but it still may be safe to use.

You are comparing two different standards of electrical safety.

I doubt very much that every circuit in your property has failed an insulation resistance test, polarity and continuity tests etc etc.

Yes you may need a new fuse board, some Protective Equipotential Bonding and a bit of fault finding and remedial work but a full rewire? I doubt it.

Maybe it does? Cant comment further till I've seen the report.

Conrad Paton

 

 

Conrad Paton

+44 7957 959851

conradpaton@yahoo.co.uk

https://www.linkedin.com/in/conrad-paton-424446110

 

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On 6/10/2021 at 1:46 PM, shawn b said:

 

I am basically paying to do the repairs he should have done. Would that stand up in court for me to try to reclaim costs? Thank you in advance.

Nope. He's should have had the EICR in place from earlier this year, so he would have had issues with the tenancy, which may explain why he sold up, but unless you asked and he lied about it, you'll be wasting time and money taking that to court.

The local authority can fine you, up to £30k, although I suspect there would be an element of acceptance that it's a problem you've inherited, but that will depend on how quickly you fix it.

I presume there's now a new tenancy agreement in place for you, so you're now the one in breach of the requirements. Until you get the EICR, you'll be unable to regain possession of the property. 

If there's a letting agent, particularly if they were the letting agent previously, you might want to have a word with them, as they are breaking the rules and have allowed you to end up with the problem, which the local authority may be interested to know about. They should probably therefore take some of the responsibility, although it'd be difficult to find which bit of any contact they've broken, as any mistakes they make are always your problem.

You may also want to speak to your solicitor who did the conveyancing, as they potentially should have made you aware, but they may have already told you that they hadn't checked on things relating to the tenancy.

Suspect this is just going to have to go down as an expensive lesson learned, unfortunately.

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Dino you assume too much

3 hours ago, dino v said:

Nope. He's should have had the EICR in place from earlier this year, so he would have had issues with the tenancy, which may explain why he sold up, but unless you asked and he lied about it, you'll be wasting time and money taking that to court.

.....

I presume there's now a new tenancy agreement in place for you, so you're now the one in breach of the requirements. Until you get the EICR, you'll be unable to regain possession of the property. 

The OP stated he purchased with a sitting tenant in Jan 2021.

EICR's for existing tenancies came into force in April 2021.

We dont know at the moment when the tenancy started. The vendor could have had that tenant for years in which case he/she has done nothing wrong in selling on the property without an EICR.

There doesnt need to be a new tenancy agreement in place. Just a section 48 notice to change Landlords.

Its more likely the OP has realised an EICR is needed and the electrical contractor is upselling the scale of the problem and claiming a full rewire is needed 

Conrad

 

 

Conrad Paton

+44 7957 959851

conradpaton@yahoo.co.uk

https://www.linkedin.com/in/conrad-paton-424446110

 

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20 hours ago, conrad_paton said:

Dino you assume too much

The OP stated he purchased with a sitting tenant in Jan 2021.

EICR's for existing tenancies came into force in April 2021.

We dont know at the moment when the tenancy started. The vendor could have had that tenant for years in which case he/she has done nothing wrong in selling on the property without an EICR.

There doesnt need to be a new tenancy agreement in place. Just a section 48 notice to change Landlords.

Its more likely the OP has realised an EICR is needed and the electrical contractor is upselling the scale of the problem and claiming a full rewire is needed 

Conrad

 

 

Missed the January bit and assumed it was a recent purchase. You're correct, the previous landlord did nothing wrong, providing it wasn't a newish tenancy and on that case neither would the solicitor. Sorry OP, it's absolutely on you to pay whatever is required to get an EICR. The quote you've got may be high, but chances are you'd need to pay for another test to see if you could get a lower quote for the works.

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  • 3 months later...

Conrad and Dino, thank you both for your input. I managed to get the costs down to £2,200 getting a second quote, but a rewire was still pretty much needed. A costly lesson learnt. All the best, Shawn.

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1 hour ago, Shawn B said:

Conrad and Dino, thank you both for your input. I managed to get the costs down to £2,200 getting a second quote, but a rewire was still pretty much needed. A costly lesson learnt. All the best, Shawn.

I'm not sure you did anything wrong here. £2,200 won't define whether or not your investment is a success

I don't get surveys done because they are expensive! If I spend £500-£1,000 on a survey for every property, the that will probably hurt my bottom line more than dealing with a problem like yours. However, I do check the condition of the sockets and look at the skirting boards

Sometimes, you need to take things like this on the chin..

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Hi @Shawn B

I note that you initially posted about this query in Jun 2021.  It is unclear to me, from your recent response, whether you have already had a qualified electrician to rewire the property.  If you have not, I would recommend that you take action immediately and get a qualified electrician to rewire your property as soon as possible (and really do make it as soon as possible) and fix all the issues outlined in the EICR, since otherwise it is just playing with fire.

A C2 comment in an EICR means the item is potentially dangerous and urgent remedial action is required.  Thus, if any fault or further deterioration happens, the items with C2 comments would become immediately dangerous.  This means that, irrespective of whether the previous seller has contributed to your situation, you will be liable (at least to some degree) if anything happens to your tenants in connection with these C2 items (if you have not arranged them to be fixed by a qualified electrician).

The £2,200 or £3,000 costs or even the £30,000 fine is nothing if a tenant of yours gets electrocuted and sustains any injury.  If a person is electrocuted, you could bet that brain damage (at least to some degree) is likely to be on the table, which means that the injured party could potentially sue you for over £300,000 (i.e. the £3,000 costs to rewire or the £30,000 fine would be nothing compared to the potential damages from a personal injury claim).

For the avoidance of doubt, the above (a) does not constitute legal advice (and no lawyer-client relationship is formed in any way) and (b) is set out for your reference only.  You should seek formal legal advice for your matter.

Kerry

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