Regulated Tenancy: Responsibility for Electrical Maintenance

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    Regulated Tenancy: Responsibility for Electrical Maintenance

    I manage a flat that is on a Regulated Tenancy. The tenant has recently informed me that it is an electrician’s opinion that the flat needs rewiring and a new fuse box should be installed. I want to know who is responsible to carry out the repairs; landlord or tenant.

    The lease was granted in 1978 for seven and a quarter years – and has been holding over since.
    The lease sets out that it is a leasee’s covenant to ‘During the continuance of the term to maintain repair renew replace as the case may be… electrical apparatus wires and cables within the flat and to keep the same in good and substantial repair and condition.’

    I have also looked at the DCLG booklet on Regulated Tenancies (http://www.communities.gov.uk/docume...pdf/138295.pdf).

    “It says the that ‘If the tenancy, when granted, was for less than seven years and was granted on or after 24 October 1961, the landlord is by law normally responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of the home and for keeping in repair and proper working order any basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations and any installations for supplying water, gas and electricity, for heating water and for space heating. Except where a lease is taken by one of a number of public bodies, this obligation can only be varied if the court agrees. Apart from this the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant will depend upon the agreement between them.”

    Does this mean that it is the tenant’s responsibility to carry out these repairs? Or are there any other laws that cover Regulated Tenancies that were over seven years long? Any advise would be very helpful.

    Thanks

    #2
    From what I can find online, you might possibly be correct that it is the tenant's responsibility.

    Here's another link to a government website.

    The key point seems to be whether or not s.11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 applies. This section contains the LL's statutory repairing obligations in short leases. And s.13(1) says: "Section 11 (repairing obligations) applies to a lease of a dwelling-house granted on or after 24th October 1961 for a term of less than seven years", however, you need to read the rest of that section. And look at s.14 too.

    Having said all that, there are other laws relating to electrical safety, and you may have some liability under them.

    As the electrical works could be expensive, and as the consequences of getting it wrong potentially serious, I would invest in getting some expert specialist legal advice, i.e. counsel's opinion. An hour or two of a barrister's time won't cost much compared to either the expense of doing the work or the potential cost of failing to do it if it's your liability to do it.

    You can find a direct access barrister in this link.

    Comment


      #3
      1977 Rent act ?

      Hello danr

      Originally posted by danr View Post
      I manage a flat that is on a Regulated Tenancy. The tenant has recently informed me that it is an electrician’s opinion that the flat needs rewiring and a new fuse box should be installed. I want to know who is responsible to carry out the repairs; landlord or tenant.
      Can I just double check with you when did the tenancy actually start and are you the ordinal landlord ?


      Does the rent show up here https://ebusiness.voa.gov.uk/err/ Enter the full post code and click Enter,do not post any person details.

      If it shows your tenants rent ? what does in say in the box marked

      "Allocation of liability for repairs"

      which will be half way down the page.
      Thunderbirds are go

      Comment


        #4
        If I can deliberately and in a nice way conflate both earlier replies

        The tenancy as explained if more that 7 years when granted ( which applied under the old 59 Act and the LTA 85 Act) the tenant can be responsible for such repairs. Your quote from the lease indicates that they are.

        However as 45002 points out the Rent Officer can register a rent which takes into account the tenant's obligation or can state,normally where there is doubt, that the rent is registered on the basis that, say, the landlord is in fact responsible.

        So under the register, if it does not state that it is subject to section 11 as Westminster has stated, it will/should say in accordance with the tenancy agreement, or in some cases not.

        The law has not changed on these is some time and it was once my lot in life to look after 3000 odd of these, now I have people for that ( well what's left)!

        The liability is therefore theirs however you should be requiring that they do, at least, keep or put it into repair( depending on the exact wording). You can exercise contractual or statutory rights to inspect, and if the tenancy allows, enter and put into repair, or have the county court order that they comply with the tenancy.

        If the tenant faces difficultly or the standard to which they have to repair is say 1978 eg two plugs in a room, you might come to agreement to pay for some of the improvements for the long term, or in some cases we have done the work and rentalised the cost, with the assistance of the rent officer. There are detailed ways to day this to avoid the Maximum Fair Rent Cap, and maximise the return. Although the rent is lower than market, as a regulated tenancy and an internal one at that, regard must be had to the tenant's circumstances if affects benefits they have, as this can factor into the increased rent.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment

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