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Electrical problem?

(10 Posts)
Grandhighpoohba Tue 23-Aug-11 11:26:55

The backstory- we live in a rented flat, its nice but in a poor state of repair (leaking roof, rotten window frames) The landlord is dreadful about repairs - he says that as the other flats won't contribute to the costs he isn't prepared to pay for them, so we just have to put up with it.

Anyway. We have been here two and a bit years, and I have always had a vague worry about the electrics as long life lightbulbs go after about three months, however, the lights in the communal stairway have been a real problem. They continually break, we have spent about 70% of the time here with the stairway in complete darkness, nothing gets done. Last week, one of the neighbours finally cracked, and got them fixed, and had a sensor attached at the front door. Last night, the sensor exploded with a mighty bang, and fused all the lights in the stairway.

My question is, Should I be worried about the state of the electrics in this building? We are two floors up with no fire escape and two young children, and I am now really concerned that the electrics are really dodgy. If they are how can I get the landlord to do something about it? We are in Scotland, I don't know if that effects the landlord's legal responsibilities?

Grandhighpoohba Tue 23-Aug-11 12:28:31

bump, anyone?

minipie Tue 23-Aug-11 12:43:47

I don't know about in Scotland but in England I am pretty sure that landlords are obliged to have an electrical inspection. (also a gas check by a Corgi registered engineer if you have gas). I would certainly suggest you demand this is done - it doesn't sound good. sad

minipie Tue 23-Aug-11 12:44:50

You could also try the ARLA website which has lots of info about landlord responsibilities. Again, not sure if it covers Scotland, if not you could call them and ask if there is a Scottish equivalent.

conculainey Tue 23-Aug-11 13:03:33

I would contact your local council and ask to speak to someone in building control/health and safety and ask them to call out and do a general inspection of your property. If you have gas of any description you must be supplied with a yearly testing and inspection certificate provided by a Gas Safe registered engineer (Corgi is obsolete 5 years ago). Your Electrical consumer unit should have a test date sticker attached showing the last date of inspection which the council will check. Do you have an electric shower and is it protected by an RCD, this is important?

minipie Tue 23-Aug-11 13:06:58

Sorry, am out of date! listen to conculainey not me. smile

conculainey Tue 23-Aug-11 13:08:34

Have a look at this link..

conculainey Tue 23-Aug-11 13:10:23

Minipie, the inspection is pretty much the same carried out by the same people, the name was changed just to make money out of people really so you were not wrong as such.

Grandhighpoohba Tue 23-Aug-11 16:14:22

Hi, thanks for all the replies. Have had a look at the websites, will save for future reference. Have spoken to the agents who say they won't fix the hall way electrics, but that they will write to the owner of the flat and let him know. I'm not going to hold my breath, two years on and the ceiling in our bedroom still leaks when it rains.

Will check the fuse box for an inspection date.

greentea72 Wed 24-Aug-11 22:30:54

In domestic properties it is recommended periodic inspections are carried out a minimum of every 5 years, however it is not ocmpulsary unlike yearly gas certification. (the law may be more specific than this in scotland - but i don't have any knowledge of this) However the landlord has a duty of care and if the installation has not been tested and any known faults not recitified and there were to be an accident the landlord could be liable for prosecution.

I recommend you put your concerns in writing strongly to the agent/landlord in this vein, i also recommend you contact your local authority for advice, i am afraid I don't know exactly who you would talk to but I would try environmental health/health and safety. ( I'd ask them about the ceiling at the same time!) - I believe in scotland there has to be a registered landlords scheme as well - but again this is outside my experience.

As an aside the problem with lamps blowing etc may be due to an excessively high voltage - contact your electrical supply authority for advice. Some utility companies offer free visual checks on household electrical installations, it might be worth getting this done and using this as evidence. Or get a local electrician to cast an eye over it and get a quote for any remedial work required to forward on to the agent. The more evidence you can provide that it is not safe, the more pressure you can put on the landlord to do something about it.

It is not acceptable to have no lighting in a communal stairwell, emergency lighting shoud also be provided. Again were you to fall, the landlord could be liable for prosecution.

I also recommend in the meantime you make sure you have battery powered smoke detectors in every room.

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