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Topic Title: certification required for change of light fittings?
Topic Summary: intro, hoping it's OK to join & post here
Created On: 07 December 2017 11:16 AM
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 07 December 2017 11:16 AM
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MargotH

Posts: 5
Joined: 07 December 2017

Hi, I am not an electrician ... I really hope it's OK to post here
I'm a tenant who recently moved out of a rented flat & desperately need advice re regulations, regarding whether certification is required for a change of light fittings
Hoping someone can help
Margot

Edited: 07 December 2017 at 12:15 PM by MargotH
 07 December 2017 11:46 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3954
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Hello Margot, of course you can join in! There are many who watch and post occasionally, and sometimes even as questions, which is great. The best thing is you can get authoritative advice here, although we sometimes discuss the fine details ad infinitum! Please describe your problem carefully, fully, and completely and it will be sorted in a flash (hopefully not literally).

Regards

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET
david@ZawadiSoundAndLighting.co.uk
 07 December 2017 12:10 PM
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MargotH

Posts: 5
Joined: 07 December 2017

Thanks David, that's really helpful
I hope someone may be able to help
I arranged for an electrician to take down my chandelier light fittings (2 of them in one room) before leaving my rented house and to replace them with the original (ordinary style) light fittings
My former landlord is now demanding I provide an "electrical certificate for the testing of the lighting circuit that your electrician has to issue after the alteration of the fittings"

My electrician did not give me a certificate ... is this a (legal?) requirement?
 07 December 2017 12:38 PM
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KFH

Posts: 565
Joined: 06 November 2010

While I would give a minor works certificate (MWC) for all sorts of small jobs I would not normally give one for swapping a light fitting especially when going to the normal plastic fitting. I suspect that your landlord is trying to ensure that the work was done properly as he has responsibilities to ensure that the electrics are safe for the tenant.Providing a MWC would normally involve some testing of the circuit which I would not normally do for a simple change unless there was something that looked dodgy.

Will he accept the invoice from the electrician or will the electrician provide a simple description of what he did and would that be acceptable.
 07 December 2017 12:45 PM
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davezawadi

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Strangely I see this a different way, and perhaps I am too cynical!
In change of tenancy he is required to provide a certificate (EICR) on the property. As this is required perhaps he is hoping to con someone that the property has been inspected? Lets see.

I would not normally give a MWC for changing a light fitting, perhaps I should. But there is really nothing to test, unless a loop test is needed for a new earthed class 1 fitting. I do issue an invoice for all jobs which says what is carried out.

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET
david@ZawadiSoundAndLighting.co.uk
 07 December 2017 01:04 PM
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geoffsd

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To point out the legal aspects:

The only way the law is involved is Building Regulation Part P which states " Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury".
An accepted way of showing compliance with this is to follow the electrical wiring regulations.

The electrical wiring regulations (which are not law) do say that a certificate should be issued for all work, but, I think not unreasonably, an electrician may not do this for very simple jobs.
The electrician may have checked and tested things such as the earth connection being effective but we can't tell.

Did the landlord ask for a certificate when your chandeliers were first fitted?
 07 December 2017 01:49 PM
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aligarjon

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A certificate is not required as the wiring has not been altered. If you were changing the fitting because it was broken it would be classed as maintenance which does not require a certificate.That doesn't mean he shouldn't test it of course. As Dave mentioned, with a change of tenancy it should be checked over anyway.

Gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 07 December 2017 02:30 PM
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geoffsd

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Appendix 6 (page 418) disagrees with you.
 07 December 2017 04:12 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Appendix 6 (page 418) disagrees with you.

the bit that says a MWC may also be used for replacement of luminaires and accessories? Unfortunately, it's not spelled out that the "may" is an alternative to a full EIC or an alternative to no certificate at all.

Personally I'm of the opinion that any connection to terminals of equipment is covered by BS 7671 and hence it counts as a BS 7671 alteration and so a cert should really be issued - although I'm having difficulty finding the words to prove that - especially when some of the standard tests would require some type of luminaire to be disconnected during the test anyway.

- Andy.
 07 December 2017 04:28 PM
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geoffsd

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the bit that says a MWC may also be used for replacement of luminaires and accessories? Unfortunately, it's not spelled out that the "may" is an alternative to a full EIC or an alternative to no certificate at all.


In view of the preceeding two sentences and the rest of that sentence, I would deduce that it means instead of an EIC.
Also, "may be" means "is allowed to be" rather than (the common misuse) "might be".

As I said above, I don't think it unreasonable not to issue a certificate for such a small job, although, if the circuit were tested, it would be just as well to record the findings if only on a receipt.
 07 December 2017 06:43 PM
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MargotH

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Thank you so much davezawadi, KFH, geoffsd, aligarjon, AJJewsbury
I really appreciate your help, including the references to regs & requirements

In answer to geoffsd, no, the landlord didn't ask for a certificate regarding the original change of fittings

Perhaps I should explain: I am in dispute with this former landlord regarding repayment of my deposit, since ending the tenancy (on perfectly amicable terms, I thought) 3 months ago. Just today he has emailed a request for this certificate out of the blue after failing to communicate with me for the last month
So I thought best to seek out some experts who might be able to shed light, to help me know how to respond to him

Many thanks to you all
Margot
 07 December 2017 06:44 PM
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AncientMariner

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Just to clarify, when you first rented the property, I assume that there was a typically white plastic ceiling "rose" on the ceiling with a cable beneath with a bayonet lamp holder?

If so, did your electrician remove the ceiling rose and replace with the similar sort of item that was part of your chandelier? Or did he/she utilise the original ceiling rose and simply connect your chandelier to where the dangling cable with lamp holder was attached (and made arrangements to support the weight of your chandelier)?

I ask this because some ceiling roses have simply a 2-core and earth cable in and a 2-core flex out, whereas some may have a number of cables going in connected to other terminals, both fixed and un-fixed within the rose. Whilst the first would be a simple replacement, the second would not be so simple and would require more skill and thus more chance of error, or poor workmanship.

Clive

-------------------------
Clive S Carver GCGI IEng MIET MITP
 07 December 2017 08:13 PM
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geoffsd

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It would seem the landlord is just using this as an excuse to hold on to at least part of your deposit, but we don't know if you have been a naughty person in other respects.

I believe it is a legal requirement that your deposit should have been placed, by the landlord, in one of the deposit holding schemes. You will have been notified by them if this was done and, if so, you can dispute with them the return of your deposit.

If not, then I would advise you to consult the Citizens' Advice Bureau.
 07 December 2017 09:07 PM
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davezawadi

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Dear Margot
If you gave a deposit, and I assume you have a receipt (a legal requirement to give you one) and you also have the right to know the details of the account in which your deposit is lodged. So ask the landlord in writing (letter (recorded signed for delivery) or a fax, not email) for the details. You need to realise that a deposit is still your money, not the Landlords, and there are severe requirements on where and how it may be held in the bank, it must be in a special account (often called a clients account). I rather think I may have hit a certain nail earlier, and that this information will not be forthcoming. In that case you simply inform the Police that the landlord is defrauding you, has stolen your deposit, and the matter should move fairly smoothly from there. If it is determined that you need to pay for any repairs, the reasonable cost of these is available from the client account, but a couple of ceiling roses cannot reasonably cost more than a hundred quid or so.

I hope all that helps, all this is very simple law of landlord and tenant, not the wiring regulations!

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET
david@ZawadiSoundAndLighting.co.uk
 08 December 2017 06:38 AM
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colinhaggett

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Hi best to read the following link, I would bet he hasn't complied!

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection
 08 December 2017 08:12 AM
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aligarjon

Posts: 3874
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Trying to quote you geoff but this ridiculous platform won't let me.

Top line of the guidance on the green sheet of my NIC minor works certs says The NICEIC Minor electrical works certificate is to be used only (with only being highlighted) for an addition or alteration to an existing circuit.Then gives a couple of examples of extra points.

If i had to go and change a faulty light switch for someone i wouldn't go and disconnect the circuit at the CU and do a load of testing, i would do a quick earth continuity test from a local socket screw and crack on. How do you fill that out on a minor works or any other form.
Unnecessary disconnection is pointless and asking for problems.

Another of their open to interpretation regs as per usual.


gary

-------------------------
Specialised Subject. The Bleedin Obvious. John Cleese
 08 December 2017 08:48 AM
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Zoomup

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But, but, but, won't the wiring be tested by the landlord's electrician during the E.I.C.R. stage testing before the new tenant arrives?

Z.
 08 December 2017 09:04 AM
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mapj1

Posts: 9689
Joined: 22 July 2004

Assuming he is going to do one, I don't think it is mandatory yet unless you are in Scotland though it keeps getting raised. Or is it ?
Or of course it may have been tested as part of the new tenant process and found wanting - hence the funny questions now.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 08 December 2017 01:19 PM
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MargotH

Posts: 5
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Originally posted by: AncientMariner

Just to clarify, when you first rented the property, I assume that there was a typically white plastic ceiling "rose" on the ceiling with a cable beneath with a bayonet lamp holder?

Yes, that's correct

If so, did your electrician remove the ceiling rose and replace with the similar sort of item that was part of your chandelier? Or did he/she utilise the original ceiling rose and simply connect your chandelier to where the dangling cable with lamp holder was attached (and made arrangements to support the weight of your chandelier)?

1st of those: i.e. removed the ceiling rose and replaced with the similar sort of item that was part of my chandelier

I ask this because some ceiling roses have simply a 2-core and earth cable in and a 2-core flex out, whereas some may have a number of cables going in connected to other terminals, both fixed and un-fixed within the rose. Whilst the first would be a simple replacement, the second would not be so simple and would require more skill and thus more chance of error, or poor workmanship.

Clive


Thanks Clive / Ancient Mariner ... so it sounds like you might be suggesting that, if my chandelier has the more complex cabling, it would be the sort of job that requires a certificate
 08 December 2017 01:40 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 9689
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Lets be clear - there is no legal compulsion to have a certificate or to issue one. The wiring regs are not part of the canon of law in the UK.
There is however a duty to work safely and to not put users at risk, and one good way of doing this is to work to the regs, and to test the work as you go along. Writing the test results down formalises that you have actually tested it, but not to do so is not an offence.

Arguably the more complex job involves more connections, and there is more risk of error, so the work really should be more thoroughly tested. Hmm yeah right, but for a ceiling rose, well probably not on a Friday afternoon, to be honest.
A minor works certificate, maybe, maybe not . Maybe more of a 3 line note with the bill describing what was done for the money, or you find that more effort is expended on the paper trail than the actual job.

How well do you know the chap/chapess who did it - can you ask them if they tested anything ?

-------------------------
regards Mike
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