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    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    • 75Posts
    • 37Thanks
    pixiepeep
    Electrical Survey
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    Electrical Survey 14th Oct 16 at 7:36 PM
    On a bit of a whim based on an old fuse box we decided to have a full electrical survey carried out on the property we're trying to buy.

    The electrician has come back today saying that the electrics are ancient and unsafe - light sockets not earthed, backed with wood... he went as far as to say that if the house was tennanted it would be illegal - the property is a now empty rental so that's rather worrying.

    We're waiting for our full homebuyers survey to come back, but this is a call for asking for money off the property, right?

    It's not obvious from looking at the house that this would need doing, and the owner accepted an offer 3k under the asking price on the understanding that we were chain free (we are living with family after completing the sale of our home). The full rewire is going to cost around 3-3.5k.

    We're seeing our solicitors in the morning about it, but has anyone had any success at this stage asking to reduce the price on the back of surveys? And will this cause a problem in terms of getting our mortgage?! We've just had a mortgage offer approved.
Page 1
    • fishpond
    • By fishpond 14th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    fishpond
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:04 PM
    Get a second opinion, and price.
    Keep quiet.
    Last edited by fishpond; 14-10-2016 at 8:06 PM.
    I am a LandLord, so there!
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 14th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:29 PM
    We're the ones buying, so surely it's in our interest to look at making sure our investment is sound? We don't want to have an unexpected 3k bill just as we move in to make the property livable.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
    • 37,032 Posts
    • 40,952 Thanks
    G_M
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
    Did he give a price for (I asume) re-wiring?

    Yes, ask for a reductuon in price and give the EA a copy of the report to pass to the seller.

    But wait for the survey - there may be more. You don't want to be feeding back in dribs and drabs.

    And be prepared for the seller to say no to a reduction - what will you do then? Pull out? Or suck up the re-wiring cost yourself later?
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 14th Oct 16, 9:01 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:01 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:01 PM
    Did he give a price for (I asume) re-wiring?

    Yes, ask for a reductuon in price and give the EA a copy of the report to pass to the seller.

    But wait for the survey - there may be more. You don't want to be feeding back in dribs and drabs.

    And be prepared for the seller to say no to a reduction - what will you do then? Pull out? Or suck up the re-wiring cost yourself later?
    Originally posted by G_M
    Not an offical quote yet - he gave us his initial reaction and said we should get a full report off them in the next week with everything in writing.

    I don't know what we'd do if they wouldn't accept a reduction. We know she's very keen to sell, the property has been up for good while. I suppose we'd have to suck it up really, but there are other works that need doing to the house that we had budgeted for with our initial offer. This would mean that other works, like the boiler being replaced would have to wait. It's not really a livable situation for us.
    • Boler1985
    • By Boler1985 14th Oct 16, 9:03 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    Boler1985
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:03 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 9:03 PM
    Did you ask for a signed Periodic Inspection Certificate? Did he provide one? Was it signed? What did it say?
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 14th Oct 16, 11:31 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:31 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:31 PM
    The light switches not being earthed is not "illegal" in a rented property, but the degree of risk depends on whether the light fittings are plastic or metal. If metal, then it's more risky but still not illegal.

    It is highly likely that modern installation techniques will make the installation much safer but this is your choice as the householder whether you go to the expense of updating it or not.

    Ideally offer should have been even lower to start with as an old fuse box is an immediate indication that the electric installation is old. Your best option is to wait until you get the homebuyers survey and revise your offer on the basis of the sum of the issues found.
    • Riggyman
    • By Riggyman 15th Oct 16, 3:41 AM
    • 97 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Riggyman
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 3:41 AM
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 16, 3:41 AM
    It seems like you're buying an old house, so what did you expect? Budget for a re-wire if that's what you want.
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 15th Oct 16, 7:16 AM
    • 737 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    ultimatedingbat
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:16 AM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 16, 7:16 AM
    Just out of interest what did you pay for this to be done? We're looking into needing it done on a property we're buying
    • MobileSaver
    • By MobileSaver 15th Oct 16, 8:29 AM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 1,463 Thanks
    MobileSaver
    We don't want to have an unexpected 3k bill just as we move in to make the property livable.
    Originally posted by pixiepeep
    Why isn't the property liveable at the moment? Do the electrics not work?

    Electrical regulations change every few years; probably 99% of UK properties are not fully compliant with the latest regulations, that does not mean they are inherently unsafe. (As an aside, if you are the worrying type, then fitting RCDs in the fusebox can eliminate most dangers.)

    If you wanted a brand new electrical system perhaps you should look at buying a new build instead? Why should the seller pay out for a complete rewire that will only benefit the buyer? You may be lucky and the seller might agree to a contribution towards a rewire, you may be unlucky and the seller tells you where to go and starts looking for another buyer who understands they are buying an older property...

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    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 15th Oct 16, 8:53 AM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 3,416 Thanks
    davidmcn
    It seems like you're buying an old house, so what did you expect? Budget for a re-wire if that's what you want.
    Originally posted by Riggyman
    Quite - unless the sellers presented it as having brand new electrics I don't see the case for deducting the full cost of a rewire from the price.
    • konark
    • By konark 17th Oct 16, 2:11 AM
    • 744 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    konark
    What are 'light sockets'?
    • HouseBuyer77
    • By HouseBuyer77 17th Oct 16, 9:41 AM
    • 755 Posts
    • 713 Thanks
    HouseBuyer77
    The light switches not being earthed is not "illegal" in a rented property, but the degree of risk depends on whether the light fittings are plastic or metal. If metal, then it's more risky but still not illegal.
    There's no formal requirement for electrics in a rental to be to a particular standard or inspected regularly (unlike the gas installation) but I believe there's a requirement for them to be safe. So a sufficiently old/unsafe installation could be illegal.

    What are 'light sockets'?
    This is actually a key question. Do you mean the ceiling rose (what you're screwing a lightbulb directly in to). Or do you mean the rare(ish) round three pin sockets that look like this: https://sparksdirect.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/image/cache/data/zencart/sections/K770WHI-298x298_0.jpg which are being used for lamps?

    Unearthed ceiling roses isn't up to latest standards but not that bad. Many styles of light fitting don't have exposed metal that could become live anyway and even then you're unlikely to touch it.

    Unearthed round 3 pin sockets are very bad, especially if connected to lamps. Far more likely to result in exposed metal you can easily contact becoming live.

    I guess wood backing is a fire risk, plus presumably rather old by now so may be going rotten.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 17th Oct 16, 10:57 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 822 Thanks
    Grenage
    As above; this is far from unusual; the only houses you'll find up to current standards are houses built in the last few months!

    It is not uncommon to find back boxes held in place by bits of wood, or no CPC for lighting circuits. That's not the kind of stuff you need to worry about - it's loose connections and wires (which costs practically nothing to check/rectify).

    Old but well installed wiring is arguably preferable to new but poorly installed wiring. If you would like to rewire the house (and if moving in and decorating, now is the time), see if the price you've got accepted taking that into account.

    I would be more than surprised if old wiring caused a problem with your mortgage offer.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
    • 12,042 Posts
    • 10,442 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I guess wood backing is a fire risk, plus presumably rather old by now so may be going rotten.
    Originally posted by HouseBuyer77
    If the wood is rotting, then the water ingress and damage to the roof timbers is going to be a FAR bigger problem than the electrics...!

    Yes, it'll be fire-risk related, which is actually a much lower risk now, with ubiquitous low-energy (so much cooler) bulbs. Not that it was ever a real problem anyway.
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 17th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    Property was built in 1962, is otherwise in very modern and good condition so we expected the electrics to be in relatively good condition too!

    And sorry, I meant light SWITCHES not sockets, that was just a typo.

    We're going to hang on until the homebuyer survey comes back in the next few days to see where we stand.

    Also, for the few that have mentioned it, I'm not fussed about it being brand new wiring. What I want is a safe house for my family to move in to.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 17th Oct 16, 8:05 PM
    • 12,042 Posts
    • 10,442 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Property was built in 1962, is otherwise in very modern and good condition so we expected the electrics to be in relatively good condition too!
    Originally posted by pixiepeep
    Was there any sign that the house had ever been rewired? The fusebox seems to have suggested not. So what made you think the wiring wasn't 54 years old, too?

    Also, for the few that have mentioned it, I'm not fussed about it being brand new wiring. What I want is a safe house for my family to move in to.
    Is there any indication (apart from some scaremongery backside-covering that's been explained here) that it isn't?
    • Mr.Generous
    • By Mr.Generous 17th Oct 16, 8:32 PM
    • 872 Posts
    • 1,012 Thanks
    Mr.Generous
    is the wiring pvc sheathed or rubber sheathed?
    If its PVC and has the right cable it probably doesn't need a rewire, just some updating.
    If its rubber coated wiring it will need a rewire pretty desperately.
    You can get the latest dual RCD mains board (consumer unit) fitted as long as you have decent cabling.
    As for the electrics for a rental there are things you should comply with, If you don't then you would be wide open to legal action against you. I can't remember them all but an electrician would know. Pretty sure stuff like no mains cable attached to a surface unprotected, suitable number of sockets provided, appliances safe and checked etc.
    The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 requires that the electrical installation in a rented property is:
     safe when a tenancy begins and
     maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
    The Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 makes it an implied term of every tenancy that the landlord will ‘keep in repair the structure and exterior’ of the property and ‘keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity, and for sanitation, space heating and heating water. The
    landlord cannot make the tenant responsible for these repairs.

    No doubt someone will be along to tell me I'm wrong and someone else to confirm I'm right.
    • amateur house
    • By amateur house 17th Oct 16, 10:07 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    amateur house
    I would be more than surprised if old wiring caused a problem with your mortgage offer.
    Originally posted by Grenage
    My mortgage offer had a retention of £3,000 kept back due to the house having an older style fuse box and old cabling. I have to get it inspected and upgraded to modern requirements.
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 17th Oct 16, 11:03 PM
    • 877 Posts
    • 822 Thanks
    Grenage
    My mortgage offer had a retention of £3,000 kept back due to the house having an older style fuse box and old cabling. I have to get it inspected and upgraded to modern requirements.
    Originally posted by amateur house
    Blimey, I've never heard of that sort of thing, do cheers for informing.

    My old place had an ancient (twist your own fuse wire) CU, and 60+ year old cabling, and the mortgage company weren't bothered. I guess it depends on the lender, but I never imagined it would affect value enough to make them care.
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