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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Landlord insurance & electrical work

I was recently contacted by a landlord desperate to find out where he stood on carrying out some minor electrical repairs to his tenants cooker.  His email started:

"I am desperate for an answer to my question and hope that you can help.

I am a landlord and my tenants have reported the cooker oven isn’t getting up to temperature. I have researched the problem and I need a new heating element.

My question is, Can I fit this item myself without invalidating my landlord insurance or do I need to employ a qualified electrician to undertake this work to a supplied appliance? "

The current Building Regulations contained in Part P deal with electrical safety. 

My view is that you don't need Building Regs approval for this repair nor that the work be carried out by a 'competent person' as referred to in the Regs.

The Landlord Insurance Brokers view

Chris Greaves from Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers comments:

“Firstly, we would recommend that you refer to your existing policy to establish whether there is anything specifically contained in the wording that requires work to be carried out by a qualified and certified person. In our experience, it would be unusual for this to be written into the actual policy wording.

Assuming there is no specific exclusion in the policy wording, then you would be entitled to carry out your own repair. However, in the event of a claim (that could be identified as being caused as a result of the repair) an insurer may enquire as to the competence of the person conducting the repair. In some cases, the insurer could potentially look to avoid a claim due to defective workmanship.

Our recommendation and suggested best practice  would be to engage the services of an appropriately qualified person to carry out the repair. This would provide the best protection and peace of mind to all parties”  

Property Hawks View
Property Hawks view would be that 'belt and braces' might suggest that you use a qualified person to fit the cooker element.  I've certainly used somebody in the past although he wasn't a qualified electrician, which would mean that he wouldn't be considered to be a 'competent person' under the Building Regulation.  The law as it stands though means that there is no legal requirement to do so.

Landlord insurance - expert brokers

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