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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    18

    Default Renterís Insurance for My Liability or Landlordís Liability Towards Me

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
    I had an agreement with the landlord to do some repairs, including very simple repairs of broken
    electrical sockets, switches, and wall plates. However, after I uncovered two switch boxes and
    saw jumbles of wires, many bare, and could not figure out what circuits the non-working switches
    controlled, I decided an electrician was needed. I left the wall plates off pending professional
    repair and explained to the landlord that an electrician was needed. The landlord did nothing. I
    eventually complained to code enforcement and even then the landlord did nothing except get
    upset. Now, nearly three months after being notified by code enforcement the landlord will send
    an electrician claiming that ďthis needs to be done due to possible fire hazard to protect you as
    well since you pulled the wires out of the wall and do not have renters insurance this will protect
    you from liability.Ē Am I responsible or the landlord? Does renterís insurance really have anything
    to do? I donít see any fire hazard from the wall plates being taken off and the switches
    slightly pulled from the boxes, nothing flammable is anywhere near the boxes, and no problem has
    actually happened due to my actions. It sounds like hype to me, to try to shift the landlordís
    underlying blame for failure to fix the electrical problem for so long. In fact, the landlord initially
    accused me of ďfakingĒ the problem by simply removing the wall plates in order to make a false
    report to code enforcement, and, of course, still did not send an electrician. If the landlord had
    immediately fixed the problem when I brought it up, things would be different.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Renterís Insurance for My Liability or Landlordís Liability Towards Me

    Since a trim plate covers energized electrical terminations, not having one in place can definitely be considered to be a fire hazard as well as a shock hazard.

    As well, the plates being off is a code violation of it's own, and you caused it and refused to remedy it.

    The devices not being mounted properly is another violation that you caused and failed to remedy.

    Unless you are a licensed electrician, you cannot do electrical work on a rental unit in California.

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