A question for landlords - would you change electrician part way through a job?

Hello, my son reported to his landlord that the electricity in the kitchen kept going off. 

The landlord told him he was sending an electrician round, he'd found him on line.  

My son took the day off work,  and the electrician didn't turn up.  Eventually he contacted my son and said 'his mate's grandma had died and he couldn't get the van'.  As a lecturer in FE for twenty odd years, I have always had sympathy for the grandmas who have had their names taken in vain.

My son rearranged the appointment for the Saturday,  and he came and replaced the fuse box.   It still wouldn't work, so he returned on Tuesday and replaced all the kitchen wiring. It still wouldn't work. 

He hasn't been able to find the source of the problem.  He asked for more than half of his quoted fee on Tuesday and was paid.  

The electrician was due to return today, and my son took another day off work.  He was a no show yet again because his 'van broke down' and he has 'no idea how long it will take to fix'. He said he had messaged my son - he never received any message. 

My son has another weekend without electricity.

As a landlord, would you continue with this contractor?

£216 saved 24 October 2014
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Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    I'm not a landlord but this person sounds both incompetent as well as unreliable and yes I'd switch to someone else.  Did the same thing with the company that I was paying to fix my boiler that would stop working again 2 days after they fixed it a couple of times, it was always something else that was going wrong.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,430
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    Thank you Brie.  My son  is finding it all very irritating - especially losing pay for the unpaid holiday days he's had to take.

    I have contacted my electrician who is prepared to travel there. 

    The landlord returns from his holiday tomorrow, I hope he does decide to switch and if so, I can recommend my electrician to him.
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,458
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    he came and replaced the fuse box.   It still wouldn't work, so he returned on Tuesday and replaced all the kitchen wiring. It still wouldn't work. 

    From what you describe, the fault is in the kitchen and it is only the kitchen circuit that is tripping.  Is that correct?

    What testing did the electrician do before the above tasks?
    To replace the fuse box is an odd and large task for an issue only affecting one circuit.  
    Then also fully rewiring the kitchen means that (assuming the work was done correctly) there can't be a remaining fault with the installation.

    That would only leave the appliances that are plugged in as the root cause of the circuit tripping.
    It may be possible to do some DIY assessment (operate only one item at a time and see what causes the trip to occur).  This would at least mean that the OP can have working power over the weekend.
    What appliances are there in the kitchen and on the ring circuit?
    • washing machine
    • dishwasher
    • kettle
    • toaster
    • microwave
    • coffee machine
    Oven is usually a separate circuit and not on the ring.
  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,430
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    Thank you, I am seeing my son tomorrow to buy him lunch.  He cannot afford to have takeaways and has been living on sandwiches.  I will ask for more detail and get the facts.
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • your narrative of the job doesn't include anything technical (kept going off, doesn't work. still doesn't work etc)  so can I assume you don't know what's the cause of the problem too? 
    I don't think it's fair to assume the landlords contractors are incompetent without any technical details.

  • youth_leader
    youth_leader Posts: 2,430
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    I have no idea what the problem is FFHillbilly, I hope to get some more facts tomorrow.

    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • I'd be surprised if "all the kitchen wiring" was replaced, especially in 1 day as that would be an incredibly disruptive job. And the fuse box? (Called a consumer unit). I think something is being lost in translation.

    Signature on holiday for two weeks
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 7:33AM
    Does your son need to be there?
    I know most folk understandably like to be, but is it necessary? 
    Or could you babysit his house for him? :smile:

    We obvs haven't a clue what's going on here, but if this sparky's two major undertakings are correct, then there simply 'cannot' be a fault remaining! Looking forward to developments :smile:
  • gm0
    gm0 Posts: 804
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    It is not going to be a reasonable expectation to expect Sparky 2 to sign off and certificate the work of others (Sparky 1) - without doing (and being paid for time for) a test and inspection of their own. 

    As they are liable for it otherwise - sight unseen.  So have zero incentive to skip it for free for the customer or scope works "assuming" it is fine.

    Switching rather than waiting with gritted teeth has potential to add a rework/retest cost for whoever is paying the bills here.

    BTW if this (fairly normal trade behaviour (if a full day of work at a premium rate on a city build out comes in then many a trader will have a broken van for the consumer filler jobs currently on that day.  Strong economic incentive to silently reschedule and not turn up.

    If this unreasonable to you - don't do any roofing  ;->
  • 1. Your son's landlord must, by law, have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).  These are valid for 5 years from the date of the inspection for which they are issued.  They can only be issued by suitably qualified electricians.  I'm surprised the landlord had to find an electrician on-line rather than use the person / firm who issued the EICR.
    2. I'm a landlord, and my attitude is that, when work is being done in a rental property, I attend, with the tenant present or not as they see fit.  If I had been let down twice by the same outfit, I wouldn't have them back.  I'd pay for time spent and tell them to go.  
    3. My approach in this case would be to hire a firm of known reputation and ask them to prepare another EICR, and undertake any remedial work necessary to issue the report.  Might cost more now, but provides more surety for the future.  The expenditure is tax deductible anyway.  
    4. Replacing the consumer unit may appear a bit over the top for a single circuit fault.  However, if it is old and does not meet current standards (issue 18?) then the electrician might want to replace it before putting his / her name to any sort of paperwork, particularly in a rental property.
    5. I like Grumpy-chap's list of suspect appliances, but would add electric irons.  In my experience it is irons, closely followed by electric ovens and hobs which cause problems, I suspect because of their operating temperatures.  
    6. I expect people who have undertake to do some work for me to turn up when they say they will, unless there is a genuine reason not to.  Anyone who lets a customer down because they have had a better offer has no integrity and is not to trustworthy.  

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