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    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 12th Jun 17, 8:47 AM
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    ordnancesurvey84
    No lighting in communal entrance hall
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 8:47 AM
    No lighting in communal entrance hall 12th Jun 17 at 8:47 AM
    Hi,

    I have recently rented a flat in a converted house which has a communal entrance hall, which I need to enter to access my front door. When I moved in, I noticed that there was a light fixture on the ceiling, but that there didn't appear to be a light switch anywhere to turn it on. When I come home late at night, I either have to fumble around to find the keyhole on my front door, or use my smartphone's torch.

    I pointed this out to the letting agent, who sent round an electrician to investigate, and who then told me that the light fixture was not connected to a power supply.

    Is it reasonable for me to expect there to be a working light in the communal entrance hall? I don't know how complicated / expensive it would be to arrange a power supply, as there would presumably need to be a separate electricity meter to which the communal supply was linked.

    Thank you for your advice!
Page 1
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 12th Jun 17, 9:16 AM
    • 10,586 Posts
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    pmlindyloo
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:16 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:16 AM
    I don't think this is an unreasonable request especially if there is a safety issue involved. For example, do any of the other tenants have to climb stairs in the dark?

    The LA seems to be 'on the ball' so a polite letter requesting some form of lighting is the way to go. Using battery powered lights fixed to walls is a cheap alternative.

    As regards your own front door we use a battery powered light near the keyhole which works well.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Jun 17, 9:35 AM
    • 13,173 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:35 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:35 AM
    Indeed - I would be focusing myself on the landlord/lady might cause an accident to happen with this.

    All it would take is someone leaving/dropping something on the stairs and an upstairs person (or their visitor) walks downstairs and trips over it en route (because they can't see it - courtesy of no light) - and ...bingo...the landlord/lady has a claim in against them.
    ploughing my own furrow...

    No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 12th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    ordnancesurvey84
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
    Thanks guys. It's hard for me to make that argument, as there are no stairs involved! (The stairs are immediately on the other side of my front door, which does have lighting.) It's just a communal hallway which I have to walk along. It's more of an irritation rather than a genuine safety issue - and it just doesn't feel very homely, when I arrive home and have to start fumbling for the keyhole with my iPhone (other smartphones are available!).
    I've had a quick google, and I could get a battery operated motion-sensored light which can be stuck on to the wall, but I guess I just feel misled, as there is a light fixture, with a lightbulb in it - overhead - which must have been disconnected from the power supply during the conversion of the house into two flats.
    • ComicGeek
    • By ComicGeek 12th Jun 17, 10:11 AM
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    ComicGeek
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:11 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:11 AM
    The communal entrance hall should have adequate fixed lighting (definitely not only battery operated) and emergency lighting in the event of a power cut etc. Anything less than that is unsafe regardless of when the conversion to flats was undertaken.


    Do you have your own electricity meter for your flat, and is there a second for the flat above? My guess would be that to save money the landlord didn't bother fitting a separate elec supply for the communal areas - the light on the stairs is probably run from the consumer unit of the flat above, and they didn't have any landlord supplies to run the light outside your door from.


    If that's the case then what else hasn't been done properly during the conversion. Emergency lighting and general lighting should have been checked by Building Control during the conversion, so also likely the landlord didn't bother with that either.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Jun 17, 10:20 AM
    • 1,510 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:20 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:20 AM
    I'm guessing there's no smoke alarm to the communal area either? Not sure if that's legal, other should know for sure.
    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 12th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    ordnancesurvey84
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:25 AM
    Thanks ComicGeek. I'm actually the one who has the upstairs flat, and my front door is just at the bottom of the stairs, so the lighting to the stairwell is within my flat and connected to my electricty meter. Yes, the downstairs flat has its own electricity meter, but I suppose because the communal area consists only of a rectangular hallway - it seems to lack its own electricity supply. I'm just not sure how worthwhile it is to make a fuss about this. The person who lives downstairs is an owner-occupier, so she and my landlord would have to share the cost of installing a communal area electricity meter and a light switch - although, clearly she would also benefit from having a light in the hallway!
    • Joseriously
    • By Joseriously 12th Jun 17, 10:33 AM
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    Joseriously
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:33 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:33 AM
    Is there a management company involved?
    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 12th Jun 17, 10:34 AM
    • 13 Posts
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    ordnancesurvey84
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:34 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 10:34 AM
    I'm guessing there's no smoke alarm to the communal area either? Not sure if that's legal, other should know for sure.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    No - there's no smoke alarm there! But then there isn't a smoke alarm in every single room in my flat either (there's just one on the first floor and one on the second floor) and I'm sure the ground floor flat has one too, so not sure if there is a legal requirement for there to be one in the entrance hall, simply because it's a communal space.
    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 12th Jun 17, 10:39 AM
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    ordnancesurvey84
    Is there a management company involved?
    Originally posted by Joseriously
    There is a freeholder company which owns the building. That's all I know. The person who has the downstairs flat is a leaseholder, so I assume that my landlord is a leaseholder too. But there is no regular servicing of communal areas or anything like that.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Jun 17, 10:49 AM
    • 13,173 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I wonder if the Fire Brigade might have something useful to say about this?

    NB; I do understand the thinking "There's a part of the electric set-up - so where's the rest" as I moved into my current house and noticed a missing light bulb somewhere. Promptly replaced it and wondered why the light switch for it wouldnt work - and it turned out there was a light switch for it (I think) but it was in another room altogether. Duly sorted as part of the electric modernisation I had done....
    ploughing my own furrow...

    No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    • Joseriously
    • By Joseriously 12th Jun 17, 11:08 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Joseriously
    There is a freeholder company which owns the building. That's all I know. The person who has the downstairs flat is a leaseholder, so I assume that my landlord is a leaseholder too. But there is no regular servicing of communal areas or anything like that.
    Originally posted by ordnancesurvey84
    So you don't pay a monthly management fee? This would cover such things as building insurance which, I presume, would be one policy for all flats?
    • aneary
    • By aneary 12th Jun 17, 11:12 AM
    • 428 Posts
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    aneary
    So you don't pay a monthly management fee? This would cover such things as building insurance which, I presume, would be one policy for all flats?
    Originally posted by Joseriously
    He rents the flat he wouldn't directly pay a monthly management fee his landlord would.
    • Joseriously
    • By Joseriously 12th Jun 17, 11:52 AM
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    • 2 Thanks
    Joseriously
    He rents the flat he wouldn't directly pay a monthly management fee his landlord would.
    Originally posted by aneary
    True. But ultimately it is the management companies responsibility to sort this issue. So the 'landlord' should get onto them.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th Jun 17, 1:51 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Rather than getting a separate landlord's supply in for such a small installation just ask your landlord to put a small PIR bulkhead light next to your front door.

    They're cheap to buy, and to run - a 5 watt LED bulb should give ample light for a hallway, and costs about £5 a year to run if it was on 24/7/365 - which it won't be.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • ordnancesurvey84
    • By ordnancesurvey84 13th Jun 17, 3:48 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    ordnancesurvey84
    Many thanks to all for your advice. I have spoken again to the letting agent today and she is trying to come to some sort of arrangement with my landlord and the leaseholder downstairs to work out whose electric supply the communal light should be linked to.
    Either way, she seems to be taking the matter seriously.
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