Who would my tenant sue if she was to?

#1
Here was the drama, all electric went off in the night on the whole street, power was then re-suppiled in the AM. Not long after this all the plug sockets less one in my house stopped working, so i got a sparky out in less than 5 hours to diagnose the problem. Found a wire that had burnt through for some reason he sorted it and deemed it safe once again. Then my tenant said she recieved a shock from the radiator. Nothing serious, but to keep on the safe side of things i got another sparky out and then he said that the house had been wired up badly by the firm that did the repairs in street. The live was connected to my earth so making everything in there unsafe. He kicked the tenants out at my expense which i am happy with as it saftey. Problem was cause by united utilities and there engineer has admitted fault and i have this documented. Now everything is safe and i am going to try and recover my losses from them as this was nothing to with my house. my question though is, who would my tenant sue if she was going to??

Also where do i stand if it against me.

Cheers
sam
 
#2
who would my tenant sue if she was going to??

Also where do i stand if it against me.
If I recall correctly, she would need to sue you as you have the contract with her.

You can then sue UU for negligence (connecting live to earth but? You'd have expected something to trip at your side fuse box - may be more to this). She might be able to sue UU directly because it was quite a serious breach of professional standards but that wouldn't be the normal route.
 
#3
Perhaps this should also be notified to the Health and Safety Executive, its a competency issue on the part of UU, and so far as we know the individual could still be making these mistakes somewhere in another street, with lethal results.
 
#4
Well i pick the full report of the sparky this week but he did tell my other half y it didn't trip the box but she forgot what he said... My underdstanding was that she would clang me and then i would have to chase my losses through UU. Obviously she has the better end of the stick if she has a go at me as she won't be taking on a large company. I'm still not sure were she stands with this and if at all she is going to try and get anything as she has already told me she never went to the doctors because she didn't feel the need.

@bobthedog, thats a fair point as my sparky said if anyone would have gone in the attic it could have been a fatal shock rather than what he described as a static shock from the radiator.

I personally cannot be bothered with anything going to court more for the hassel as the only reason i rent the house out is because we now both live in different parts of the country.

Sam
 
#5
Sounds like someone wired the earth to the live rather than the Neutral. The person doing the internal wiring has not installed a proper earth and has relied on the utility to supply an earth which they are not required to do any more. A lot more serious than a mistake as his post installation testing and certification phase would have flagged it straight away.

At the very serious (court time) end of the breaches of BS7671 with double points if he has provided a certificate.
 
#6
@bobthedog, thats a fair point as my sparky said if anyone would have gone in the attic it could have been a fatal shock rather than what he described as a static shock from the radiator.
Sounds like someone wired the earth to the live rather than the Neutral. The person doing the internal wiring has not installed a proper earth and has relied on the utility to supply an earth which they are not required to do any more. A lot more serious than a mistake as his post installation testing and certification phase would have flagged it straight away.
Earth to Live wouldn't be height dependent - earth to neutral would? Differential sweeping through the earth's magnetic field and all that? About 100V per metre IIRC (very, very low current, though). Earth to neutral also wouldn't trip the junction box unless there was another failure.

GIATT is right about the rest of it, though - it's a career fail for the UU sparky if there's any justice.
 
#8
Not sure yet but i'm trying to do my homework before i get back and get told the good news! I am hopefull she won't. Will this all go through landlords insurance or not??
 
#9
She's probably got a no-win-no-fee-no-law-degree lawyer off one of those daytime TV ads. Point out that UU have deeper pockets than you have. Tell your tenant that UU were "grossly negligent". Emphasise the phrase "grossly negligent". That should get her lawyer excited and set him off on the trail of UU instead of you.
 
#10
I'm already all over that and i'm putting a letter together saying of my servere displeasure and highlighting the inconvenience cause to the tennat etc. i'll show her this on thurs to show her i'm trying to get her something back for the inconvenience of the whole thing. i'm also giving her two weeks rent back as it nearly went on for this long when UU couldn't get there ENG out and then couldn't get a gene as the problem was rooted through next door and they were away. A fairly complecated ordial!

Cheers for the answers
 
#11
Who do UU have the contract to supply with? If the tennant pays all the UU bills directly then I beleive it is she that should be dealing with them, not you the owner.
You were quite right to try and address the problem with the house but anything from your meter out is their problem and responsibility. You should be looking to jointly do UU for their negligence and recover your sparky costs too. Plus a healthy claim for compensation.
Ilois will be along shortly to offer you some free advice, I'm sure.
 
#12
No her bills are through British gas and then they get UU out to do the work. This is the reason that i don't really want anyhting to go to court as i can foresee this getting more complicated as it goes through. I hope that she is happy that she is getting 2weeks rent back and leaves it at that. Will it matter that she hasn't been to any kind of doctors or hospital so nothing is documented and she has no effects now??


Sam
 
#13
I'm no lawyer but the fact is it would be very difficult to prove she suffered any injury without any medical evidence but any claim, as long as it is \uu's fault as you say, would be directed at UU, not you.
I would spend a few quid seeing a lawyer and look at sending her the bill for the lost rent/costs of calling an electrician out so that she could sue or claim against UU.
Although, as you say, if you don't want the mither and are prepared to take the no rent hit, sit back and see what happens. I actually don't believe that UU are beholden to you as they have no contract with you personally.
spend a few quid and see a lawyer.
 
#14
Here was the drama, all electric went off in the night on the whole street, power was then re-suppiled in the AM. Not long after this all the plug sockets less one in my house stopped working, so i got a sparky out in less than 5 hours to diagnose the problem. Found a wire that had burnt through for some reason he sorted it and deemed it safe once again. Then my tenant said she recieved a shock from the radiator. Nothing serious, but to keep on the safe side of things i got another sparky out and then he said that the house had been wired up badly by the firm that did the repairs in street. The live was connected to my earth so making everything in there unsafe. He kicked the tenants out at my expense which i am happy with as it saftey. Problem was cause by united utilities and there engineer has admitted fault and i have this documented. Now everything is safe and i am going to try and recover my losses from them as this was nothing to with my house. my question though is, who would my tenant sue if she was going to??

Also where do i stand if it against me.

Cheers
sam
Your main distribution board not protected by an RCCB on the mains in? An earth fault like you describe would have tripped it.
 
#15
Your main distribution board not protected by an RCCB on the mains in? An earth fault like you describe would have tripped it.
Not necessarily. The RCCB works on an imbalance between live and neutral currents, any difference indicates a leak to an earth path. The appliances could still work normally since there should be no current flow to/from the earth conductor.

Howvever, I don't quite follow this. Connecting the earth conductor to a live phase ( there are 3, so you could have had 415V between live and 'earth') would cause a FOGB current to flow up the earth conductor and then to earth through the gas &/or water mains' earth connections. This could fry the earth cables, but doesn't explain why the sockets went off, unless an adjacent cable's insulation was melted. It suggests there could be other, undetected damage to your wiring system. I'd think a survey, test and, possibly, rewire may be in order.

You might get more sense posting this on an electricians' forum, e.g., Electrics UK Forum - DIYnot.com - DIY and Home Improvement

Apologies if any of the above proves to be bollox, I'm mechanical.
 
#16
I've deleted a couple of posts I put up on this thread. I thought it was work carried out in the property however, as Sambo said, it was work carried out in the street.

UU are a utility company who have probably had a contractor out there to work on the underground mains / service cables. Somehow, some numpty has connect the live to the earth which had effectively made all the exposed/extraneous conductive part in Sambo's property LIVE! From what you said, the tennant got a pisser from the radiator. They would have also got a shock from the sink (if metallic), possibly the bath, any switches if they had a metallic cover etc etc ... so it was inevitable that someone was going to get a pisser!

The service cable to the property should have a live, neutral and earth.. (unless its on a TT system).. it seems in this case there was only a live and neutral (as the earth was connected to the live!). The service cable goes to the cut out in the meter cabinet, then eventually to the fusebox. Anything connected to the earth bar in the consumer unit (fusebox) would have been live!

Very bad practice, its no wonder they sorted it out in a jiffy.

Going off the info provided by Sambo, I dont think you have anything to worry about (apart from your tennants getting zapped!). Legally, it was UU's guys who made everything live so its their fault. I wouldn't worry too much about being sued.
 
#17
I've deleted a couple of posts I put up on this thread. I thought it was work carried out in the property however, as Sambo said, it was work carried out in the street.

UU are a utility company who have probably had a contractor out there to work on the underground mains / service cables. Somehow, some numpty has connect the live to the earth which had effectively made all the exposed/extraneous conductive part in Sambo's property LIVE! From what you said, the tennant got a pisser from the radiator. They would have also got a shock from the sink (if metallic), possibly the bath, any switches if they had a metallic cover etc etc ... so it was inevitable that someone was going to get a pisser!

The service cable to the property should have a live, neutral and earth.. (unless its on a TT system).. it seems in this case there was only a live and neutral (as the earth was connected to the live!). The service cable goes to the cut out in the meter cabinet, then eventually to the fusebox. Anything connected to the earth bar in the consumer unit (fusebox) would have been live!

Very bad practice, its no wonder they sorted it out in a jiffy.

Going off the info provided by Sambo, I dont think you have anything to worry about (apart from your tennants getting zapped!). Legally, it was UU's guys who made everything live so its their fault. I wouldn't worry too much about being sued.
I have no legal qualifications but I would have thought that she can only sue you if anything that has happened to her is attributable to your landlordship and can be put down to your negligence, or, at least, your responsibility. Do you get free legal advice with your Landlord's Insurance or do you belong to a landlord's association who may be able to help?

PS on a sidebar I recently found out that if a landlord does not lodge his deposit with a recognised agency the the tenant may be entitled to up to 3 month's rent in compo. This came to light when my son's landlord tried to withold his deposit claiming long standing repairs, noted in writing on march-in were down to my son. You probably know more than I do about that.
Incidentally it does me good to hear of a landlord who shows such concern for the well-being of his tenant, well done.
 
#19
Not necessarily. The RCCB works on an imbalance between live and neutral currents, any difference indicates a leak to an earth path. The appliances could still work normally since there should be no current flow to/from the earth conductor.

Howvever, I don't quite follow this. Connecting the earth conductor to a live phase ( there are 3, so you could have had 415V between live and 'earth') would cause a FOGB current to flow up the earth conductor and then to earth through the gas &/or water mains' earth connections. This could fry the earth cables, but doesn't explain why the sockets went off, unless an adjacent cable's insulation was melted. It suggests there could be other, undetected damage to your wiring system. I'd think a survey, test and, possibly, rewire may be in order.

You might get more sense posting this on an electricians' forum, e.g., Electrics UK Forum - DIYnot.com - DIY and Home Improvement

Apologies if any of the above proves to be bollox, I'm mechanical.
[FONT=&quot]There is only 1 phase going to a house so that would be 240 v. The next door along may be on another phase, so 415v. Going some for a jointer to fook up, he must have tried very hard. I would think that. Attempted murder[/FONT]
 
#20
I'd say it depends on what she sued for.

Expenses incurred due to failure to provide services promised in contract - you
Damages caused by dodgy wiring - the leccy company.

The easiest solution would be for her to provide evidence of her expenses (B&B bills, or whatever) to you and for you to claim them off UU as a business expense you incurred as a result of their fookup.
 

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