Electricity

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    Electricity

    Having recently moved into a property I have discovered that the landlord has an electric cable running from the side of my home out to one of his buildings. This cable is linked to my electrical circuit board and I will be landed with the bill. I was not told about this before the tenancy. Can anyone give advice on this: what my rights are, how to deal with, etc.

    Thanks.

    #2
    Disconnect it: Or, better, get a qualified electrician to disconnect it. (Don't tell landlord... wait for the emotional scream....).

    Check your tenancy to ensure it doesn't explain you pay for this.

    Remember a landlord does not need a reason to evict using s21.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      If the cable is unsafe and posses a hazard to you, then contact the council to investigate (if the cable is running outside it should have appropriate protection cover over it). If there is no issue, contact an qualified electrician to remove the cable, then invoice the landlord for the cost.

      Did you view the property before moving in? Is the building part of your tenancy, do you have access to this outside building?

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks to both of you for your response. The outbuilding is not for my use and there is no mention of the cable in my tenancy agreement. The cable has no protection: it is just a thick grey electrical cable going from the side of my building, about 12 feet up, across an open space and into his outbuilding. The outbuilding is not locked and I have confirmed that it is running from my electricity. I did view the property before moving in, but did not spot the cable. It was only when someone came to visit me and spotted the cable that I realised what might be happening. The outbuilding is not part of my tenancy.

        I have tried to ring the council on multiple occasions, but no one ever answers: you either get put on hold in a queue or get a message to say they are short staffed so ring another time. I have written to them, via recorded delivery, but so far have had no response. I have mentioned to the council that I am worried about the risk of fire due to this cable not even being protected.

        Comment


          #5
          Have you asked your landlord about it?

          Comment


            #6
            The cable should really be a Steel Armoured Cable to prevent rodents etc from biting through it. The department you need to contact in the council is Environmental Health. I would also advise you contact the LL before hand in writing prior to making the complaint, give the LL 14 days to sort it out, then make your enquiry with the EH who will investigate. May be worth getting an independent electrician to verify it is a hazard and put that in your letter to the LL.

            Does some one live in the outbuilding? Is it consuming electricity?

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks both of you for your response. No I haven't yet asked the landlord about it. This has been a nightmare tenancy and the landlord is behaving very aggressively if I raise any issues. I want to know what my rights are before I raise the issue with him. I have found out that he has done the same thing for other outbuildings and has been running these off a neighbours electricity for years, but they haven't wanted the stress of dealing with it. No one is living in the outbuilding, it is used as storage/workshop area. Re the council, after spending hours and hours trying to get through to someone there with no success I wrote to them, via recorded delivery, but have so far had no response.

              What I have found out today is that one place you can contact is https://www.stayenergysafe.co.uk/ though the person I spoke to wasn't sure that they would deal with my type of issue.

              I am discovering via this tenancy that though there are supposed to be organisations that will help, because of lack of funding, the reality is that no one is available to deal with it or they lack the understanding of the situation and have no advice. Sadly, it seems that landlords can just get away with anything. It is little wonder that there are so many bad tenants around: I feel like becoming one myself!

              Comment


                #8
                Give Shelter a call and see if they have any advice.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KTC View Post
                  Give Shelter a call and see if they have any advice.
                  I emailed shelter over this and other issues and they had no advice on this problem. It is nigh on impossible to get through to organisations by phone as they have so many people like me needing help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Is the cable allocated a specific fuse on your board?
                    If so, trip the fuse.

                    Report the theft to the police.
                    Theft Act 1968 s13 Abstraction of Electricity (there are other associated charges).

                    Originally posted by Flowery View Post

                    I emailed shelter over this and other issues and they had no advice on this problem. It is nigh on impossible to get through to organisations by phone as they have so many people like me needing help.
                    Also this is a very unusual issue - the voluntary organisations don't have this kind of thing in their remit.


                    ​​​​​​​
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Flowery View Post

                      I emailed shelter over this and other issues and they had no advice on this problem. It is nigh on impossible to get through to organisations by phone as they have so many people like me needing help.
                      They are a charity with limited resources. Their helpline number is 0808 800 4444 but I have heard it's hard to get through. They focus on housing not electricity... (afaik..)

                      However you mention
                      This has been a nightmare tenancy and the landlord is behaving very aggressively if I raise any issues....
                      dunno how you have been raiding issues but I strongly recommend you write (yes WRITE! - keep copy) to landlord , copy any agent, regarding any and all issues with a calm polite letter. If Landlord is verbally agressive it might be better to sort things on paper. Good process here for reporting issues, including a draft letter.
                      https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...ivate_landlord

                      You could also try visiting your local CaB.. see
                      https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ab...tizens-advice/

                      If this ends up in court you need paper records of who-said&did-what.

                      Hope things improve.
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What is in the outbuilding that is using electricity?

                        Is this outbuilding on land that forms part of your tenancy or on some other land?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Apologies for the delay in responding: notifications didn't come through of any other posts.

                          No the outbuilding isn't on land that forms part of my tenancy. The outbuilding is used to store various items and as a general workshop. The circuit that the electricity is on covers the kitchen so if I turn off the switch that uses it the stove/fridge/freezer go off.

                          I have contacted so many people over this issue, but no one seems to have an answer: Shelter, CAB, energy company, Energy Ombudsman, Staysafe https://www.stayenergysafe.co.uk/, council, consumer helpline, etc. You name it I have contacted them and none of them seem to have an answer as to what the law is surrounding this issue. I would have thought that it was straight forward theft, but it seems that it isn't. The best anyone could come up with is that I would have to prove how much electricity he has used and then sue him through the small claims courts. How do you prove how much electricity someone has been using!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There's no confusion.
                            It's almost certainly theft - abstraction of electricity.

                            If you want confirmation, get some professional (paid for) legal advice from a solicitor.
                            Free public advice services don't have the resources to answer specific fact based out of the ordinary questions.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Quick question, is the outbuilding actually currently consuming electricity?

                              Can the landlord access said outbuilding without crossing the property you are renting?

                              There are a lot of cases where the building is used for storage and landlord is not willing to attach to part of the tenancy, if the landlord is not accessing the building and actively using electricity, I don't see it as a problem.

                              I know quite a few landlords exclude storage spaces such as attic with power connections from tenancy because they are using it to store their own stuff or safety reasons.

                              That said, an external power line on the same fuse circuit as one running the kitchen may not pass the electrician's inspection for landlords.

                              Comment

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