Electrical rewiring in your home

Content owner : housing@knh.org.uk Last updated : 14/01/14

Electricial rewiring

The following important information explains about electrical rewiring and how this work will be carried out in your home.

Why are we doing the work and what are the benefits?

If the electrics in your home are old and do not meet the current safety standards, we will need to rewire your home to ensure it meets the latest regulations.
This work will also enable us to add more sockets so that you have enough for your electrical items, especially in the living room and kitchen.

What will the work involve?

Our contractor will remove the existing wiring, sockets, light switches, light fittings and any other electrical items. They will then install your new wiring and fittings. Where possible, the contractor will install the new sockets where you want them.
All sockets and light switches will be installed at heights which meet Building Regulations to ensure future accessibility for all customers.

The contractor will run the new cables in the loft space and under the upstairs floorboards. If sockets or light switches need to be fitted on solid walls, the contractor will need to cut channels into the plaster from the ceiling to the fittings. Unfortunately, this will cause some disturbance to you and your decorations, but it can’t be avoided.

The work may vary depending on your property type. For example, in a ground-floor flat there is no loft space to run wires through so the contractor may need to cut more channels into the walls.

When will the work start and how long will it take?

Our contractor will write to tell you more about when the work is due to start on your home. The site manager or tenant liaison officer will also visit you before the work starts to give you the actual date for the work, plus more detailed information about what will be involved.

The work will be completed within a week, including finishing work such as plastering. When it is completed, the contractor will inspect the work to make sure it is done properly and meets our standards.

Can I stay in my home while the work is going on?

The electricity supply to your home will need to be turned off during the work, which means no lighting or heating will be available. The contractor will also have to lift your floorboards, so for safety reasons we will ask you not to use the rooms affected that day. If you have nowhere to go on that day, we will discuss arrangements for community facilities where you can rest and relax.

The contractor will ensure that your electricity is working at the end of each day and that everything is left in a safe condition.

What will I need to do before the work starts?

The site manager or tenant liaison officer will visit you 1 to 2 weeks before starting the work to explain what you will need to do. You may be asked to:

  • remove any valuables and store them safely.
  • take down any lamp shades you wish to keep - we are happy to refit any light fittings you have, as long as they meet current safety standards and comply with Building Regulations for energy efficiency.
  • move furniture and lift floor coverings to allow the contractor to lift floorboards - the site manager or the tenant liaison officer will tell you more about this.
  • remove items in your loft if they will prevent the contractor getting access.
  • empty some cupboards, for example where your fuse board is, or kitchen units, which may need to be removed for the wiring.

If you feel you can’t do anything you have been asked to do to prepare for the work, for example because of your age, disability, health condition or pregnancy, please discuss this with the site manager or tenant liaison officer.

Access during the work

The contractor will need reasonable access to your home during the work, between 8am and 4.30pm. There will be days when the contractor will not need access to your home, and if they need access outside the normal times they will tell you in advance.

Please keep any appointments for the contractor to access your home. If access is not convenient, please tell us or the contractor, otherwise the work to your home or a neighbour’s home may be disrupted.

Getting a decoration allowance and redecorating after the work

Unfortunately, rewiring work will affect every room in your home. The main cause of the disruption is the cable channels that need to be cut into the plaster on your walls but we aim to keep this to a minimum.

We will provide a decoration allowance after the work. The amount we pay is based on how much the work affects your decorations, and how many rooms are affected. The allowance is a contribution towards the cost of redecorating. If you are unable to redecorate your home because of medical reasons, please discuss this with the site manager or tenant liaison officer before the rewiring work is carried out.

You will also receive a disturbance allowance after the work has been completed.

Existing fixtures and fittings

It you have installed extra items such as showers, wall lights or alarms, we will check, and test these as necessary. If the contractor finds that any of these fittings are not working properly or do not meet current safety standards, they will not reconnect them to the new electricity system.

Safety and security

Please follow any instructions given to you by the contractor’s workers. This will help to keep you and your family safe during the work. Please also ensure that you:

  • keep away from work areas whenever possible
  • keep children away from work areas and any tools or materials belonging to the contractor
  • take care when moving around your home and beware of anything you could trip on
  • keep pets away from work areas, especially small animals when floorboards are being lifted.

All our staff and anyone employed by our contractors will have ID badges. Before letting anyone into your home, ask to see their ID badge.

If you are unsure about someone’s ID, please call us on 01484 416400 and ask to speak to a member of the Investment team

Using your new electrical system

The contractor will tell you how your new electrical system works and answer any of your questions.

The main change to your system will be the new consumer unit (fuse board). This has circuit breakers that are very sensitive. This means that the electrical circuit in your home will ‘break’ and your electricity will cut out if there is a fault in the system or on any of your electrical goods connected to it. This could mean that your new system may seem to switch off for no apparent reason. However, it does mean you and your home get greater protection from electrical shocks or fires.

If your electrics do go off, switch off and unplug all your electrical appliances and then go to the fuse board and reset the trip switch. Then plug in and switch on each appliance one at a time. The faulty appliance will cause the system to cut out again. Simply unplug this appliance and reset the trip switch. You will need to repair or replace the faulty appliance.

Contact us on 01484 414886 if you need more information and advice.

Right-to-Buy (RTB) customers

If you have a current RTB application when the work is due to start, your home will not be included in the scheme. However, we will carry out works if we receive written confirmation that your RTB application is cancelled before the end of the scheme.