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Legal Questions about Electrical Problems

What are electrical laws?

Electrical laws or codes are a set of regulations for any electrical wiring, and are set up to ensure safety from electrical shock and fires. Electrical laws make sure the electric is safe is by preventing short circuits, ground faults, and any overheating from faulty current carrying capacity. Circuit breakers that are appropriately rated for fuses that are used to interrupt a circuit loop whose current-carrying capacity is exceeded to avoid the overheating of wires or other fixtures. Electrical laws are usually organized by national or international technical organizations, which make the electrical laws enforceable. Electrical laws differ by geographic location.

If a person buys a home and the electrical system is faulty, is this covered under warranty or can the person pursue the seller for damages?

If the home was sold to the person as is and the seller was unaware of the electrical issues, then the buyer could not pursue the seller for any damages or repairs that may be needed. When the seller sold the property, he/she should have had a disclosure that stated all the issues with the property that he/she was aware of or should have been aware of.

If a person were to move into an apartment and receives an electrical shock from a faulty outlet strong enough to send them to the hospital, is there any action the person can take?

The tenant would have a personal injury suit against the landlord for the landlord not providing the tenant with a safe environment to live in. Since the electrical outlet is faulty, the landlord failed to provide a safe environment which caused the tenant to gain injury enough to go to the hospital.

Would it be extortion if an electrical contractor demands payment for electrical services that the person did not order or approve?

This would not be considered extortion if the contractor believes he has a valid claim for money that is owed to him/her. If the contractor goes to court and files a lien, and the person gets the lien dismissed, then the person can turn around and file for malicious prosecution against the contractor.

In the state of California, if a landlord refuses to fix electrical issues in a tenant's place and won’t let them out of the lease unless they buy out, what can they do?

According to California law the landlord has to maintain their rental property. Civil Code, Section 1941 states; “A dwelling also may be considered uninhabitable (unlivable) if it substantially lacks any of the following: -Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors.-Plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water, connected to a sewage disposal system. -Gas facilities in good working order. -Heating facilities in good working order. -An electric system, including lighting, wiring, and equipment, in good working order. -Clean and sanitary buildings, grounds, and appurtenances (for example, a garden or a detached garage), free from debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin. -Adequate trash receptacles in good repair. -Floors, stairways, and railings in good repair, working toilet, sink, and tub -operating deadbolt locks on door.” If the situation includes anything from the statute, then the tenant can do several things, including withholding rent. For more information the tenant can visit the following link, http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/repairs.shtml.

Electrical laws are set in place to protect the people that use electric. However, lack of awareness can result in disputes and misunderstanding of the legal provisions. When you have questions regarding electrical safety, installation or electrical laws, ask an Expert.
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