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    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 14th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    • 77Posts
    • 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 2
    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 17th Oct 16, 11:25 PM
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    baldelectrician
    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.
    Originally posted by HouseBuyer77
    Unless the rental property is in Scotland.
    A legal requirement for some time, latest update with the minimum tolerable standard (Sep 2007) and the mandatory requirement for electrical checks (1st Dec 2016)


    ------------------
    Back to the OP
    It wasn't until 1965 that lighting was required to have an earth at all points.
    baldly going on...
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 18th Oct 16, 8:04 AM
    • 12,111 Posts
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    AdrianC
    Unless the rental property is in Scotland.
    A legal requirement for some time, latest update with the minimum tolerable standard (Sep 2007) and the mandatory requirement for electrical checks (1st Dec 2016)
    Originally posted by baldelectrician
    It isn't even clear that this property would fail the Scottish minimum "tolerable standard" check.

    http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2009/03/25154751/15

    To fail it needs to have something in the "Table A" list - no fuses at all, rubber or lead wiring, "DO NOT USE" notices, taped connections, charred light switches and sockets - the sort of thing that would make any sensible adult wear wellies in the house anyway. OR... it needs to have something in "Table B" that an electrician's report states makes the property "unsafe for continued use". That is not what's happened here, by the sound of it.

    • baldelectrician
    • By baldelectrician 18th Oct 16, 4:54 PM
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    baldelectrician
    I note the flow chart but point out a couple of things


    The purpose of assessing an electrical installation against this element of the tolerable standard is to determine whether it is unsafe to use. The most effective way of doing this is to have a competent person carry out a periodic inspection and produce a report on the condition of the installation. Assessors should try to find out if the house has been inspected and tested and, where possible, obtain a copy of the report.


    See here http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/privaterent/landlords/repairing-standard


    To comply with the Repairing Standard, private landlords must have regard to the guidance issued by Scottish Ministers on:
    If, after a landlord has been notified of any problem, it is not attended to satisfactorily or if there is disagreement about whether or not there is a problem, then tenants have the right to refer the matter to the Private Rented Housing Panel. The Private Rented Housing Panel has power to require a landlord to carry out work necessary to meet the standard.


    Please also remember the STATUTORY requirement for landlords to have electrical checks by 1st December 2016 for EXISTING tenancies, so the previous guidance is only valid for 2-3 weeks from todays date
    baldly going on...
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 18th Oct 16, 6:08 PM
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    theGrinch
    Its asking the obvious. I would be worried if the report came back all fine.

    just budget for it
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 19th Oct 16, 8:32 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    So the report has come back this morning. It's an EICR, and it's pretty indepth, and now frankly, I'm not touching any of the power in that house! Most of it has been marked as C1 (Danger Present) and C2 (Potentially Dangerous), and the photos of some of the wiring is literally terrifying.

    There are metal backings to light swtiches with no earth, overloaded circuits, kitchen downlights which aren't very old not meeting any fire regulations. The place appears to be a bit of a death trap.

    BUT, this is the problem, we still want the house and are going to undertake the work either way - we're just going to have to ask the question. We put an offer in with consideration of the cosmetic work the house needed - as an ex rental the place is just a bit tired - but it was effectively "sold" to us by the estate agent as only needing that. Other than an old fuse box (which I'll be honest I didn't notice, but my husband did on our 3rd viewing after we'd put in the offer) there was no indication of any major issues.

    The electrician thinks that most of the property was re-wired about 40 years ago, with changes made badly around 20 years ago, with the bathroom being a point of worry - which was only re-done a few years back.

    We're still going to hang on for the Homebuyers survey to come back, because having done the maths even if the seller agrees to a 3k knockdown in the price, we will only be about £600 better off in terms of ready cash as the rest will come off the mortgage.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Oct 16, 9:44 AM
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    AdrianC
    The other way of looking at it is that it's been like that for decades and yet nobody's had a problem...

    I'd agree it sounds like it needs attention - what exactly did the original survey say about the electrics valuation compared to your offer?

    You can always hand the survey to the vendor and say "Well...? About a reduction..." - but don't forget that they can say "No". Are you prepared to walk away?
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 19th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
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    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    There was no valuation on the electrical report?

    We've not yet had our HomeBuyers survey returned and Santander didn't actually visit the property for their valuation as far as we know, but they valued it at what we had offered and had accepted.

    We are fortunate that we are living with family after the sale of our own home otherwise this would be a nightmare. Estimates for the rewire suggest 10 days to 2 weeks
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 19th Oct 16, 10:11 AM
    • 12,111 Posts
    • 10,491 Thanks
    AdrianC
    There was no valuation on the electrical report?
    Originally posted by pixiepeep
    No, but there would have been on your main survey.

    We've not yet had our HomeBuyers survey returned and Santander didn't actually visit the property for their valuation as far as we know, but they valued it at what we had offered and had accepted.
    The HBR will contain a valuation, along with a brief overview of the electrics - which will almost certainly say "The fusebox is ancient, get an electrical check."

    Estimates for the rewire suggest 10 days to 2 weeks
    Suggestion...

    If you can live with the upheaval, get the bare minimum done now, and do the rest later - because you WILL find your way of living in the house dictates where you want lights, switches, sockets etc.
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 19th Oct 16, 11:06 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    HBR just came back. Building is sound, a little damp as it's been empty. Recommended an electrical survey based on the age of the fuse box!

    But no 3s, mostly 1s and 2s which is what we expected.

    Husband and I have decided that it comes down to the quote for the rewire. We're going to hand over all the reports to our solicitors and take their advice but tbh I think if the rewire is under 3.5k were going to go ahead with the sale without fighting for a reduction- just isn't worth the effort.
    Last edited by pixiepeep; 19-10-2016 at 3:17 PM. Reason: spelling error
    • Niv
    • By Niv 19th Oct 16, 11:53 AM
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    Niv
    Funny how there is such inconstancy with surveys.

    I have recently bought a 400 year old farmhouse, mortgage company did a valuation and came back with no comments.

    I independently got a full survey full rewire was suggested to be budgeted - but as with most (all?) building surveyors they are just being cautious.

    Upon moving in I found that a couple of pendants needed replacing and a couple of rooms simply had all the bulbs blown. One light fitting does not currently work - I have not got round to checking it, but it will not involve much rewiring even worst case.

    There was evidence of old wiring in some areas (the twisted cable type) but this was actually just old stuff that was completely disconnected and was simply not removed from the wall / ceiling.

    The wiring is old in age but the condition is good. A full rewire is not required.

    Total cost to do electrics <£100.
    YNWA

    Mortgage free by 58.
    • pixiepeep
    • By pixiepeep 19th Oct 16, 3:19 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    pixiepeep
    Funny how there is such inconstancy with surveys.

    I have recently bought a 400 year old farmhouse, mortgage company did a valuation and came back with no comments.

    I independently got a full survey full rewire was suggested to be budgeted - but as with most (all?) building surveyors they are just being cautious.

    Upon moving in I found that a couple of pendants needed replacing and a couple of rooms simply had all the bulbs blown. One light fitting does not currently work - I have not got round to checking it, but it will not involve much rewiring even worst case.

    There was evidence of old wiring in some areas (the twisted cable type) but this was actually just old stuff that was completely disconnected and was simply not removed from the wall / ceiling.

    The wiring is old in age but the condition is good. A full rewire is not required.

    Total cost to do electrics <£100.
    Originally posted by Niv
    Tbf, the HBR does suggest that we get it looked into, so I'm glad we did. The whole house will need rewiring, it's a mess.

    My bigger concern now is that there is no paperwork for the conservatory, or more importantly, the gap that was put into the back wall - it's the full width of the conservatory. I'm hoping there's a steel in there... :/ Last thing we need is to rectify all of that on zero budget.
    • ST1991
    • By ST1991 19th Oct 16, 5:27 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ST1991
    Funny how there is such inconstancy with surveys.

    I have recently bought a 400 year old farmhouse, mortgage company did a valuation and came back with no comments.

    I independently got a full survey full rewire was suggested to be budgeted - but as with most (all?) building surveyors they are just being cautious.

    Upon moving in I found that a couple of pendants needed replacing and a couple of rooms simply had all the bulbs blown. One light fitting does not currently work - I have not got round to checking it, but it will not involve much rewiring even worst case.

    There was evidence of old wiring in some areas (the twisted cable type) but this was actually just old stuff that was completely disconnected and was simply not removed from the wall / ceiling.

    The wiring is old in age but the condition is good. A full rewire is not required.

    Total cost to do electrics <£100.
    Originally posted by Niv

    I don't think the mortgage valuation is the same as a survey though... otherwise no-one would ever get a home-buyer report or any type of additional survey.

    Agree with surveyors being overly cautious, though!
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