Communal hallway - separate electrics required?

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    Communal hallway - separate electrics required?


    I have purchased a freehold building which I am sub dividing into leasehold flats with a separate freehold. The communal hallway needs to have lights and heating/alarms etc, do I need to have a separate electricity meter for the communal hallway to be owed by the freeholder?



    It certainly would be sensible, because the costs can be collected as part of the maintenance charge on each of the flats to cover the communal area and common outside space if any is provided.


      Hi Malcolm,

      In short, Yes.

      It would be prudent to employ a competent fire risk assessor now to advise what you ought to do. You'll need a fire risk assessment anyway, when done.

      Your automatic fire detection will probably be under BS5839-1(6):2013. This requires a dedicated power supply, with battery back up, to serve it. Under the Fire Safety Order 2005, you will, as Freeholder have responsibility for this. It is best managed under a service agreement to ensure test and inspection as required. Same for the emergency lights. It's all about the apparatus not being tampered with or cut off because, for instance, a leaseholder (or tenant) hasn't paid their electric bill.

      Cheers, Ghost.


        Agree with ghost, and pilman. You need the fire alarm, normal communal lighting and emergency communal lighting under your control, as you are responsible for FRA and it's implementation.


          A few sockets would be handy for the cleaner too.

          If it were connected to a flats supply instead then, imho, that flat would be worth a considerable amount of money less than the others - either if sold on a long lease or rented out (unless bills were included in the rent).
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


            You are going to need separate gas and electric meters ( don't sell leasehold with just electric heating, as buyers will be put off )

            As extra meters will be added, you just add one more and have the heating ( if electric ) and lighting only coming of that board and meter, then you just read it every 3 months / year and do a calculation as to the price.
            You may find you need outside lights which can be run off that too.

            The meter will be in your name for you to pay, and the flats will have their own.

            Note. You cannot resell the common electric at a higher price than you paid for it.


              Thank you all very much for your clear answers.

              Very helpful



                A piece of advice based on my recent development - deal with the Utilities as early as possible and do not cut any corners - I wasted 8 weeks with Thames Water and several thousands in the process


                  What I did was run the communal power (no heating) off one of the flats and then adjust the service charge for that flat to compensate.

                  It's much cheaper for all concerned than having meters fitted (can be thousands) new fuseboard etc etc.


                    All very well until that flat is empty and on a key meter(or simply has the cu switched off) . How then will you power the fire alarm system that you as freeholder are responsible for?


                      Originally posted by andybenw View Post
                      All very well until that flat is empty and on a key meter(or simply has the cu switched off) . How then will you power the fire alarm system that you as freeholder are responsible for?
                      no key meters allowed. easy.

                      I don't take the sort of tenants who would need one.


                        Have to agree with Andy on this Chloe, any inspecting enforcement officer will (or should) require a 'landlord' supply for the alarms, em lights etc, so as to ensure it is 'suitably and sufficiently' powered at all times, with the burden remaining upon the landlord etc. Any reliance on a tenant type supply is wholly unacceptable, because it is inherently unreliable.

                        Certainly for the fire alarms, it is a requirement under BS5839, 25.2 (I think, haven't got the Code in front of me).

                        Hope that helps, thanks, Ghost.


                          Originally posted by chloe_1775 View Post
                          no key meters allowed. easy.

                          I don't take the sort of tenants who would need one.
                          Sorry, but a leaseholder is in charge of their own electric supply and can fit a key meter if they wish.

                          Also, a landlord cannot decide not to 'take' a leaseholder. You do understand this thread is about freeholder(landlord) /leaseholder and not AST landlord/tenant?


                            ah ok sorry my mistake.

                            I would have thought this could have been written into the lease though ?


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