Circuit boards

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    Circuit boards

    I am a director of a resident management company. One of our directors, an ex electrical engineer , ( not registered with a competent persons scheme ) has fitted circuit boards without having them certified. He has told me we can not force residents to have them certified. My question is : how responsible are the board for his work in owner occupied flats , and can this effect our buildings insurance should the worst happen ?

    #2
    What are the circuit boards in?

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      #3
      I guess he means consume units. A new consumer unit would be notifiable work, if not certified under a competent persons scheme.

      I'm not sure that being a director establishes a legal connection with the management company, but there may well be a covenant, in the lease, requiring compliance with local and national laws, so any leaseholder who doesn't get a building control sign off is likely to be in breach of the lease. It is probably something to taken into consideration in your fire risk assessment, and there is a moral case for checking whether it was notified (often this can be done online) and raising an unauthorised work report.

      An unauthorised work record really ought to cause problems when the leaseholder sells.

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        #4
        The work should be certified.
        If there is no certificate then how can you prove when it was done and if it was done correctly.
        Most items are date stamped or coded so there is tracability


        It is a choice of getting it done right at the time or not.

        If it is not you take your chances and hope for the best, you could get an EICR from a compotent person to ascertain the condition of the install then you can prove you have done due diligence.

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          #5
          I would say that the board is responsible for his work in the owner-occupied flats, as they are the freeholder. (Responsiblity for building control lies with the owner of the property). As stated, the lack of a building control completion certificate for the consumer unit change will/should cause a problem when the leaseholders sell, so getting the boards certified should be completed promptly to avoid the situation where a leaseholder wants to sell, but a certificate has yet to be issued.

          Failure to notify Building Control of notifiable work can result in a fine of upto £5000.

          The board can pay for Building Control to regularise the work, but it may be cheaper and safer to pay an electrician that is a member of a Comptent Person Scheme to remove and refit the boards. I expect they will only do this if the Director has not made any changes to the installed electrical wiring in the property. If the Director has installed new wiring, most electricians will decline the work as they cannot check everything that needs checking without excessive costs. They will have to rip all the new wiring out and re-do it all.

          An electrician that is prepared to remove and refit the boards will carry out the tests that would be necessary to product an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before doing the work. Unless the Director had a Multi-Function Test Meter (MFT) they will not have been able to do these tests and so dangerous faults may exist within the installation. If the testing finds faults that should have been remediated prior to fitting the new boards, the Board will also need to pay for this rectification work do be done. Hopefully there will not be too much doing in addition to reinstalling the consumer units, so the cost should be £400-£500 per flat.

          Even if an EICR is not produced, the inspecting electrician should describe faults in terms of the codes C1, C2 and C3. C1 faults must be fixed. C2 faults should be fixed unless there is a very good reason not to do so. Cost is not a good reason.

          If the Director had (or hired) an MFT, they should provide the results of their testing to the Electrician, who will be happier if they find the reading taken by the Director match with their own readings. Any test readings on a certificate for the work need to have been done with a calibrated MFT. A hired MFT would normally come with the calibration certificate showing that it was calibrated within the last 12 months.

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            #6
            Thank you for replies. Our set up here is we have our own management company, the directors being home owners. All the flats are owner occupied ( no sub letting ) There is nothing in the lease to say The board can 'control' what goes on in people's flats with regard electrics. However we do ask for a boiler check every year. The circuit boards are in cupboards in the flats. Plastic casings. I know that they were not bonded to gas, but am unsure when that regulation came in and if it HAS to be done. Gas pipes are metal and the gas meter is in the flat. The director who fitted these keeps telling me they are safe and not to worry!

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              #7
              Are you sure there is no requirement in the lease to obey national laws?

              Also, who has repairing responsibility for the electrics?

              Is there some way in which the director was acting on behalf of the company when they did the work? If not, it seems to be just another cowboy job. However, as it affects fire safety, I would be strongly tempted to raise unauthorised work reports with the council building control people.

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                #8
                Something that is concerning me is that you seem to understand less about the "circuit boards" than I would expect of a tenant. Describing something as a plastic box suggests to me you would not know what to do in an emergency or if a circuit breaker trips. I assume your plastic box is one of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_unit

                Unfortunately, the person who does understand has a rather serious conflict of interest, so should not be allowed to vote on the issue.

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                  #9
                  Plastic consumer units are no longer allowed to be fitted, and this has been the case since 2015. A qualified electrician would also have a torque screwdriver to ensure that the terminals are tightened to the manufacturers specification, as loose connections are a major cause of consumer unit fires. How has he determined that he has done up the terminals to the correct torque?

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