Discuss Where do communal areas fall in the PRS law? in the Electrical Testing & PAT Testing Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Dartlec

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Anyone got a solid answer on what the legal responsibilities are of building management companies when it comes to certifying their part of an installation, both in common areas and with their supply to individual flats?

I've run into several cases with EICRS in the latest dash for PRS compliance where I've asked my client (the landlord) to seek information from the BNO - and the management company clearly have no clue about anything. These have been in larger properties, purpose built as flats in the last 20 years - where the DNOs responsibility fairly clearly stops at their incomer....

It's often not practical to test the riser cable - even if it's possible to get access to the main fuse, and sometimes even that is difficult....

Some buildings have small CUs in riser cupboards, with 63A MCB or similar protecting 16mm T&E to the flat (with no way to tell where routing is), others come in armoured from a basement with individual main fuses, but no way to isolate anything....

Then there are the intercoms, often separately powered from the main building, often in 12V, but not always....

Is it just me, or does the new law seem to leave a loophole where the communal areas never need to be inspected or checked for compliance?

One today I was looking at in SE London, built less than 20 years ago - and in the communal meter cupboard (locked but with a standard fire door key which every flat has to read their meter)...I find this mess...

IMG_20210605_153449.jpg

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Might have found why their intercom doesn't work!

And yes that is 2 feeds at 230V at the top of the transformers...

And one of their emergency bulkheads fitted like this in the main stairwell

IMG_20210605_154149.jpg

Other than the usual BS7671 compliance (or NOT), is there any specific legal framework or is this a loophole?

A reasonable solution to me would be that every property with multiple dwellings in should have to provide an EICR of their communal electrics to all their leasehold owners on a similar basis to that now required for the flats themselves...
 

timhoward

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My understanding, in brief, is that the recent law does not cover communal areas at all.

I believe the catch-all relevant law is in fact much older - the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and 1984 require the owner has a duty of care to anyone who visits, whether a tenant, a visitor, or even in some circumstances an intruder!
There is a requirement "to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there"
5 yearly EICR's of communal areas would be considered mandatory to be taking appropriate care with regard to electrical safety.
I know it's a bit vague but I believe that is the relevant legislation.
 

loz2754

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Test certificate for communal areas is required if you wanna cover your duties as building owner.
The problem is that the communal areas often fall between the cracks when there isn't just one building owner. Like when several landlords each own a flat in a block. There would need to be communication between the flat owners, and the appointing of a management committee who take responsibility for maintaining the communal areas.

As has been said, the 2020 private rented sector regs do not specifically mention communal areas.

Typical of the government to leave such a gaping hole...
 

i=p/u

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Yeah whoever owns building is responsible. If two own it , they both responsible. Always someone to blame here.
 

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