July 26th 2012 – moving day continued...
It is early evening, the removal men have left, gardening contractors have arrived to strim the garden area, but not yet the paddocks. Mr Blue rings EDF [electricity company] to see if they can resolve our electricity problems. Because we have no electricity in half of the property, EDF consider us to be in an emergency situation. EDF also explain that each key meter has a unique key.
The EDF man arrives promptly and inspects the meter box area. He explains that due to new health and safety regulations that the key meter will have to be changed to a standard digital meter; they are no longer allowed to install key meters above 6ft. He installs the new meter, switches the power on and begins running tests on the circuits. Initially, we are relieved. Mr Blue switches on the light in the dining room, we almost cheer, but then Mr Blue tries the light in the main bedroom, this causes the light in the dining room to fade and the light in the bathroom to come on. Mr Blue and the nice EDF man play around with the lights for a little longer until the EDF man concludes that the lighting circuit in the main part of the bungalow is unsafe. He advises us not to turn the lights on until an electrician has looked at the circuit properly. He tests the sockets and concludes that these are safe. I ask how this property can possibly have an electrical safety certificate? The EDF man shrugs and shakes his head.
Due to our efficiency prior to moving we already have an internet connection set up at the bungalow [thank you, Plusnet]. Mr Blue fires up his laptop so that he can access his email to see if Ms Small has forwarded a copy of the electrical safety certificate. She has indeed sent him an email regarding the electricity, but it is not a safety certificate, it is instead a safety report, which more or less informs us of all the work that needs to be done to make the building safe. It also tells us that the main part of the building has only ever had a ‘dead’ test and not a ‘live’ test due to the key meter being switched off....
The nice EDF man leaves. I find a voice mail on my phone from Lucy Back [Rural Surveyor – Smiths Gore], she tells me the key for the key meter is generic and that I can purchase one from any good hardware store.
We go out for food.
We come back. We discover that turning on one of the bedroom lights in the annexe trips the lighting circuit in this part of the building as well.
I am slightly hysterical. I drink scotch and smoke too many fags. We stay up all night and compose an email to our solicitor.
Property: Gesuda TA20 3JA
Letting Agent: Smiths Gore
Landlord: Highways Agency