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Robbin' leccy

At a guess I'd say the small block of flats we live in is about three years old. Obviously then it's perfectly reasonable that it doesn't have "official" electricity yet. As you can see from the photo there is no attempt to hide the rather temporary nature of the connection.

When a place is being built the builders need power for their cement mixers and kettle so they arrange a supply with the power company. Once the building is finished the building's owners apply for the appropriate licences and someone from the Town Hall pops out, before or after breakfast, to make sure the place is safe and fit for use. With those certificates suitably stamped, stamped again and signed the owners can then arrange for light, water etc.

We know of lots of foreigners who have rented or bought houses only to find out later that their electric and water supplies weren't quite as official as they'd supposed.

Our landlady told us we were on "builder's electric" right from the start. Her solution was simple - if not particularly fair - equal shares of the bill for each of the flats. Yesterday she turned up at the door with an electrician to look the place over. They are finally getting around to putting in individual meters.

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