Electrician Installed Washing Machine Illegally

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  • Electrician Installed Washing Machine Illegally

    Hello all

    I sent a part p qualified electrician to install a washing machine in the bathroom of a flat I am letting.

    Tenant has now moved out and was advised by the agent to disconect the machine from the mains himself. He was not happy about this but did so. When he disconected it he noticed that there was no RCD protecting the machine.

    He is furious and is threatening to sue me for failing to meet my common law duty of care.

    Surely I cant be sued if I sent a qualified electrican round and no damage was done. Am I right.

  • #2
    Originally posted by essexlandlord View Post
    Hello all

    I sent a part p qualified electrician to install a washing machine in the bathroom of a flat I am letting.

    Tenant has now moved out and was advised by the agent to disconect the machine from the mains himself. He was not happy about this but did so. When he disconected it he noticed that there was no RCD protecting the machine.

    He is furious and is threatening to sue me for failing to meet my common law duty of care.

    Surely I cant be sued if I sent a qualified electrican round and no damage was done. Am I right.
    Oh yes you can.Why on earth put a washing machine in a bathroom in the first place that is asking for trouble.And as for health and saftey everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix.The agent was in the wrong as well for asking the tenant to disconnect the machine.If he doe's decide to sue you then you've only yourself to blame.
    Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

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    • #3
      I would think that the tenant would sue the electrician? Surely the Landlord exercised due care by sending around a qualified electrician. If the Landlord has invoices from a qualified person he is in the clear? Anything else is asking the Landlord to know more about electrics than the electrician which can't be right?
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pms View Post
        Oh yes you can.Why on earth put a washing machine in a bathroom in the first place ... everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix.
        What about electric shower units, shaver sockets, Jacuzzis, lights ... ? Of course you can safely install a washing machine in a bathroom. If it's properly earthed and equipped with an RCD (as this one wasn't) it's perfectly safe. There must be tens of thousands of washing machines in bathrooms; when did you hear of anyone being electrocuted by one?
        The agent was in the wrong as well for asking the tenant to disconnect the machine.
        agreed
        If he doe's decide to sue you then you've only yourself to blame
        Nonsense. Islandgirl is right. By the way, what's with the doe's? A doe's a deer, a female deer ...
        answers in red
        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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        • #5
          No - the tenant sues the landlord, and he landlord sues the electrician because the tenant had no contract with the electrician - the landlord did. However, I would think it unlikely that the tenant would succeed as no actual damage was done - I expect that the legal profession will make a bit out of it though. Please note my (popular) disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

          P.P.
          Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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          • #6
            Electrician Installed Washing Machine Illegally

            I can't understand why the tenant became involved in disconnecting the machine - did the machine belong to him?; if so, that might shift the burden of responsibility a little.
            I agree with Island Girl, that if you have employed a qualified Electrician, he would be responsible for safe installation. In any event, I can't see how your ex-tenant could sue you effectively- he hasn't been damaged has he?

            Comment


            • #7
              1. There's absolutely no reason (in principle) why a washing machine can't be installed in a bathroom, subject to various conditions which I would expect a Part P qualified electrician to be well aware of. Main one being that it wold need to be wired through a fused consumer unit rather than an ordinary plug/socket - and I don't believe for a moment that any electrician would fit a socket in a bathroom as that's been illegal for decades.

              2. What makes the letting agent thinks he knows more about electrical regs than a qualified electrician?

              3. Even if the machine had been incorrectly wired, what exactly does the tenant think he's going to sue the LL for? AFAIK, it's a basic tenet that you can't sue someone for what might have happened, only for what did happen. I could be wrong though!

              4. There's no requirement for RCDs at all; they are recommended and not mandatory. They are strongly reccommended for appliances to be used outside. As far as bathrooms go; well it would be perfectly normal for an electric shower - a fixed appliance - not to be wired through an RCD-protected circuit, even if one is fitted to the consumer unit (main fusebox) as it's not necessary.

              Go find a new agent!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                1. There's absolutely no reason (in principle) why a washing machine can't be installed in a bathroom, subject to various conditions which I would expect a Part P qualified electrician to be well aware of. Main one being that it wold need to be wired through a fused consumer unit rather than an ordinary plug/socket - and I don't believe for a moment that any electrician would fit a socket in a bathroom as that's been illegal for decades. <snip>
                I have difficulty in getting my head around why the tenant was asked to disconnect washing machine belonging to the landlord from a fused consumer unit. ( a wired sealed case with cable inserted from the applieance and the size of a socket!)

                If the washing machine belonged to the tenant then I wonder why the landlord was involved in the installation work - unless of course the tenant was re-charged for the work.

                Obviously the disconnection costs for a tenant's washing machine should be born by the tenant.

                Unless the washing machine is provided by the landlord it is perhaps best to locate washing machine points (water services, drainage and power) in areas where 13 amp sockets protected by fuseboard circuit breakers can be utilised.
                Vic - wicked landlord
                Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

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                • #9
                  I installed waching machine in the shower room myself once because there was technically no where else to install it. i was told it was illegal. but since i took the blame i kept it there for over a year. i must say that it is not fun having electrics next to water

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ATI View Post
                    I installed waching machine in the shower room myself once ... i kept it there for over a year. i must say that it is not fun having electrics next to water
                    Well you seem to have lived to tell the tale. But you're right about it being no fun "having electrics next to water". Electricity-free bathrooms and toilets are a laugh a minute. It's terrific fun shaving with a cut-throat razor by moonlight, and peeing in the dark.
                    Anyway, if you don't want "electrics next to water" you'll have to find yourself a coal-fired washing machine.
                    Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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                    • #11
                      You're right. That tiling's terrible.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's not a shower cubicle - it's a birdcage.
                        Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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                        • #13
                          And there was me thinking that many washing machines are installed in a kitchen very near the sink... Not like you could get water in a kitchen?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lawstudent View Post
                            Well you seem to have lived to tell the tale. But you're right about it being no fun "having electrics next to water". Electricity-free bathrooms and toilets are a laugh a minute. It's terrific fun shaving with a cut-throat razor by moonlight, and peeing in the dark.
                            Anyway, if you don't want "electrics next to water" you'll have to find yourself a coal-fired washing machine.

                            http://www.niceic.org.uk/approved/quest1.html
                            Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sorry , It's a long time since I've head my book in tort text book, but I thought you had to demonstrate duty of care/breach of that duty/resultant damage, to successfully pursue a claim. The first two could be easilly demonstrated, but I can't see any evidence of reultant damage.

                              I wish I'd studied property law, it would have proved more useful !

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