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Tenants calling emergency electrician for tripped electrics

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Author Topic: Tenants calling emergency electrician for tripped electrics  (Read 90 times)
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« on: July 07, 2021, 05:16:43 AM »

Hi!

I've new tenants in my property who are repeated calling the out of hours number to call out an electrician for tripped switch. On each occasion the electrician has checked and cannot replicate the fault, believing it could be an appliance (tenants). I have recently (previous to their tenancy) had all electrics checked, have my EICR in place, and previous tenants did not have the same issue. Each time there's a call out, I get a bill of over 200. Any advice on what I could do?

Thank you!
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2021, 07:57:33 AM »

What does your tenancy agreement say about responsibility for bills / repairs, who and when to call etc.?

Repeated call outs for same reason that don't find anything wrong I would suggest pay the first bill and then charge tenant the rest.
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2021, 08:48:29 AM »

Tripping electrics do not necessarily indicate a fault in the electrics of the house, as you say. In fact it's unlikely. Especially if your EICR is in place. These tests are part of that. It's much - much - more likely to be something that is being plugged-in... this will sometimes happen in your own home, for example... you don't call an Electrician out... you go to the Consumer Board and you flip the switch and you - usually - just carry on doing what you were doing... in fact, for me, I don't think I've ever had a bad appliance that has repeatedly flipped a switch... it's been a one-off.

You may have set a precedent by paying the bill more than once (it's not clear how many times) but you need to take a handle on the situation ASAP. You should have also gone through things like this at the Check-In. I am minded to copy the advice of KTC. Emphasise to the Tenants, likely in writing, that you have the EICR in place and you have had an Electrician visit... the normal way of working is the visit the Consumer Board and reset the flipped switch (it is doing exactly what it is designed to do)... it's important to realise that this might be commonly normal for some Tenants, but completely alien and overly-technical for others... make sure they're educated. I would then be crystal clear that (at least normally) Tenants don't have the right to incur expense on behalf of the Landlord and if they make further call-outs for the same issue then you will not be paying.

I read your entry again and I might be inferring correctly there's an Agent here... "mention of the out of hours number"... is it the Electrician sent by the Agent, is it the same one who did the EICR, have you contemplated competence? I don't want to cast too much doubt here as a flipped Consumer Board switch is just that, not really anything to panic over.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2021, 12:26:57 PM »

What does your tenancy agreement say about responsibility for bills / repairs, who and when to call etc.?

Repeated call outs for same reason that don't find anything wrong I would suggest pay the first bill and then charge tenant the rest.

Thanks - good point - I'll dig it out again. I am paying for a fully managed service via an agent - I have no choice unfortunately as I'm stuck overseas. The unfortunate thing is the call out happens, I get a delayed email post-event,  I get the invoice, and it gets taken directly off my income... sometimes before I have a chance to raise or dispute. I have communicated that this is not the way to do it - regarding the agent's process or the tenants behaviour - but I'll reiterate further now I know I'm not off the mark based on this feedback and others :) Much appreciated.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2021, 12:36:51 PM »

Tripping electrics do not necessarily indicate a fault in the electrics of the house, as you say. In fact it's unlikely. Especially if your EICR is in place. These tests are part of that. It's much - much - more likely to be something that is being plugged-in... this will sometimes happen in your own home, for example... you don't call an Electrician out... you go to the Consumer Board and you flip the switch and you - usually - just carry on doing what you were doing... in fact, for me, I don't think I've ever had a bad appliance that has repeatedly flipped a switch... it's been a one-off.

You may have set a precedent by paying the bill more than once (it's not clear how many times) but you need to take a handle on the situation ASAP. You should have also gone through things like this at the Check-In. I am minded to copy the advice of KTC. Emphasise to the Tenants, likely in writing, that you have the EICR in place and you have had an Electrician visit... the normal way of working is the visit the Consumer Board and reset the flipped switch (it is doing exactly what it is designed to do)... it's important to realise that this might be commonly normal for some Tenants, but completely alien and overly-technical for others... make sure they're educated. I would then be crystal clear that (at least normally) Tenants don't have the right to incur expense on behalf of the Landlord and if they make further call-outs for the same issue then you will not be paying.

I read your entry again and I might be inferring correctly there's an Agent here... "mention of the out of hours number"... is it the Electrician sent by the Agent, is it the same one who did the EICR, have you contemplated competence? I don't want to cast too much doubt here as a flipped Consumer Board switch is just that, not really anything to panic over.

Thanks for the suggestions. I actually completely agree - thanks for the reassurance I'm not was missing something! I'm a tenant elsewhere abroad now, and have been a tenant for many years at home in UK in the past - and never have I called out an electrician before trying to reset the trips and checking appliances methodically. I believe the electrician walked them through this on one of the call-outs.

In response to your query - yes, I am paying for a fully managed service from a high street agent - I have no choice unfortunately as I'm stuck overseas. The unfortunate thing is the call out happens (the electrician gets sent from the management agency immediately - they don't try to reach me, and potentially it's the middle of the night where I am if they did), I get a delayed email post-event some time the following week, I get sent the invoice, and the fees gets taken directly off my income... sometimes before I have a chance to raise or dispute. I think one was settled before I got the emails from the agent - which I created merry-hell for but to no avail. This new invoice I haven't yet paid but it may still get taken out on my monthly settlement regardless.  I have communicated that this is not the way to do it - regarding the agent's process or the tenants behaviour - but I'll reiterate further now I know I'm not off the mark based on this feedback and others :) Much appreciated.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2021, 06:52:56 PM »

The letting agents I am with have to get my consent for any charges before they can go ahead with any maintenance work. It sounds like your agents are sending out independent electricians to your property. Independent electricians will charge a call out fee for every visit. If this is a re-occurring issue, you may want to set up insurance on your electrics with a company such as British gas and make sure the tenant has the number to call them directly. British Gas will send out an electrician to fix the problem for a small monthly fee (up to 40), at no extra charge whether there is a fault or not. The tenant can call them out till kingdom come and you wont get a hefty bill because the insurance policy will cover it.
I hope this helps.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 06:57:10 PM by Miss N »
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