During one of our compliance and inspection checks we discovered that the tenant had bypassed the electricity causing a serious risk to life and limb to themselves and their neighbours.
Whenever we take over management of a property, we meet the tenants and perform an interim inspection in line with the selective licensing conditions.
Inspections can be very intense especially if there are lots of people and issues to consider. Tenants can sometimes cause distractions and this is exactly what happened. We were photographing the cellar and wanted the consumer unit in our 360 photo so had to move a sleeping bag from in front of the meter. This is when we discovered the abstraction of electricity.
In this case we reported the theft of electricity to the police who attended the property. We also called out Western Power to make the property safe and replace the meter. We were able to gain entry as there was risk to life and limb.
Western Power informed us that it had been rigged with a wire from the live to live, across the meter, and that had caused a mini explosion. To make matters worse, they had then cut the live wire completely and attached a thin wire to it from the input. The house was directly connected to the substation with no fuse in between. Alarmingly, he told us that if someone touched it, then they would have died instantly.
Had I moved that sleeping bag onto the live wire then this blog would not be happening.
The landlord reported to us that this had happened previously, however last time, as the tenant refused to grant entry, Western Power had to resort to digging up the road to make the property safe. The landlord was left with a bill of £1,500 from Western Power as a result of the tenant’s illegal activity.
NGalloway are happy to report, that in this case however, there was no charge to the landlord as a direct consequence of the way we handled the issue. We are now in possession of enough evidence to be able to issue a S8 notice, giving the tenants 2 weeks’ notice to vacate the property. We are now working with the council because there are children at the property.
What is important to note here, is that these tenants were causing antisocial behaviour and committing theft at the property and endangering the life of themselves and their neighbours. There had been significant complaints and had this situation continued the landlord may have been liable for non-compliance with the selective licensing conditions.
“The licence holder shall ensure that the electrical installations in the house are kept safe and in proper working order at all times”
NGalloway were at the property until 1.30am ensuring everyone was safe.
The Licence holder shall ensure that inspections of the property are carried out at least every 6 months to identify any problems relating to the condition and management of the property.
If you are a private landlord would you have known what to do in this situation?
Do you know what you are looking for when you inspect the property?
Please let us have your commments or call us for help with selective licensing 01156972829 See more about Landlord Licensing