Jump to content

Meter cupboard upgrade at significant cost - only two residential leasehold flats


Recommended Posts


I am looking for some feedback please. I am one of two leaseholders who share a communal entrance to our residential flats.   A couple of years ago a builder friend of the freeholders managing agent carried out a FRA on the communal area. The same builder has been back recently to do some work on the guttering and suddenly we are being told we have to upgrade the meter cupboard and have been asked to pay £1400 for the work needed to upgrade it. 

Our meters are in a large cupboard in the communal hallway that has concrete floor, walls and ceiling. Because there are only two flats there are only two electricity meters (modern smart meters) and two gas meters (in very good repair).

Here is the list of what has been quoted for:


 Take off the doors to the electricity cupboard as they are not fire rated.

  • Supply and fit new ½ hour fire rated doors.
  • Doors are to be fitted with new smoke and heat seals, 3no. fire rated hinges on each door and door closures.
  • Replace the door stops with new fire rated door stops.
  • Supply and fit a rubber mat on the floor of the electricity cupboard.
  • Supply and fit an FB2 deadlock to the doors.
  • Paint all new woodwork with 2no. coats undercoat and 1no. coat gloss.
  • Supply and fit Electrical Hazard sign on the doors with electrical shock posters.
  • Supply an accident book and fire action notices.
  • Remove all rubbish from the electrical cupboard.
  • Supply and fit No Smoking notices.         

Note that two years ago the same builder recommended that we have fire extinguishers (two sets) put in our communal hallway at a significant cost - he is now recommending that they be removed, at a cost.  In addition, all signage mentioned above has already been placed on the existing cupboard at his recommendation and at a cost to us. 

I am all for fire safety but there are only 4 residents in the building - two in each flat and my flat has an alternative escape route.  There are also a two battery operated smoke alarms in the hallway that we check regularly.

I am feeling like we are being taken for a ride here. The other leaseholder and I feel this is complete overkill - do others who are more qualified feel the same? 

Please also note: our flats are above a restaurant that had a kitchen fire in April. No FRA has been carried out on the restaurant, there was no fire alarm in the restaurant kitchen and the restaurant staff evacuated themselves but did not alert the residents above. We were alerted to the fire by the smell of smoke as it came out of the ventilation system ducting.

There is the same managing agent for all three properties - it appears to me he just seems to want to tick boxes and thinks the residential tenants are easy pickings. It all seems very dodgy to me or am I being too harsh?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The builder is unlikely to have the required competencies and seems to be creating a shopping list each time (if they were you wouldn't have had the extinguishers fitted as never needed).

The meters should be in a non combustible housing (if not metal) but this doesn't have to be a cupboard - see https://envirograf.com/product/electrical-consumer-unit-and-distribution-board-fire-protection-system/

Even if you had a cupboard you wouldn't need a Fire Brigade padlock, particularly as the residents need access.

A domestic fuse board doesn't need rubber matting and most agents save on the cost of matting where it is recommended by making it a requirement for contractors to provide their own.

You don't need an accident book, it's not a workplace.

You don't need fire action notices as long as residents are made aware of the fire policy (plus they'd no doubt fit the wrong ones meant for commercial 'full evacuate' buildings) plus as a notice it can be printed off and laminated and doesn't have to use safety sign colours or pictograms

I strongly suggest you report your concerns on the restaurant to your Fire & Rescue Service's Business Fire Safety unit as this presents the biggest and most real danger to you (as oppose to the electric meter) - they will take action to correct the various serious issues that seem to be there (& won't say it's you telling them)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...