Forced to relocate electrical coinsumer units?

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R
Richie
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I am unsure of the legality and necessity of the works that LA verbally asking me to do. They want me to relocate the electrical consumer units within three of my licensed HMOs. The objective is to make sure anyone else can reset a tripped circuit breaker if the bedroom were locked and neither the occupant of that room nor the landlord were immediately available.

In these properties (all the same floor plan), the consumer unit is in an under-stairs cupboard in one of the bedrooms, and they want me to relocate each one to the wall of its adjacent understairs cloakroom. As a simpler alternative, I suggested providing a break-glass box with a spare key, or removing locks from that room altogether, but this was not accepted.

I am very keen to avoid what happened to another landlord who owns the adjoining properties: he was asked by the LA to install additional electrical sub-supply meters (branching off the main supply meters in each of his licensed HMOs) to ensure that the supply to fire alarms etc would operate even if the tenants failed to pay their bills. After he had the work done (and paid for!), the energy supplier advised that this configuration was not allowed, so now the extra meters are totally redundant.

In my case the LA didn't ask me to move the meter, *just* the consumer unit, but I am of course reluctant to do so if this is just an unenforceable wish. On the other hand, if I wait until I get an enforcement notice, that will demonstrate to the LA that I am being uncooperative!

Can anyone confirm that the LA *can* enforce this?
Or suggest a simpler alternative around this issue?

01/12/2011 00:00

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