Every season brings new challenges to the property management industry and in winter it's dealing with tenants tampering with fuse wires. It happens - tenants will replace fuse wire within circuit breakers with something harder wearing like copper wire. Yes it is malicious damage to the property Yes it does pose a danger to the tenants lives and increase the risk of fire within a house. Yes it is a breach of lease Yes tenants need to pay all associated electricians bills to rectify any damage caused to the house or electrical wiring as a result of this behaviour. So why do they do it? The common scenario is an unheated house, this is more common in houses where there is no heating or reverse cycle air conditioning. Tenants will use fan heaters in multiple rooms to warm the house. A normal (modern) circuit board can take 16 -20 Amps. Multiple fan heaters operating at the same time will exceed the limit and cause the circuit to break. Off course this is a protective mechanism suggesting that the board is overloaded. Despite this, tenant sometimes get fed up with replacing fuses and will instead replace the fuse wire with copper so that they can continue to use the fan heaters without the circuit breaker interfering with their ability to warm the house. This almost always ends in disaster, the circuit gets overheated and because the circuit cannot break at the weak point - the fuse, it finds the next weak point ie - a power point within a house and will cause damage there. Property managers need to be weary of call outs for: light globes exploding Power points sparking or catching on fire Ovens or other appliances over heating to the point where they are glowing hot and cant be turned off. any other call outs for out of the ordinary electrical repairs Our office policy is to first check fuse boxes to determine if anyone has tampered with the wires. There have been two incidences in the past month where tenants were found to tamper with the fuse wire. Property managers will not know this unless they have checked, it is not OK to just repair the electrical items without knowing how they are caused. If it is determined that the tenant is tampering with the electricity, there are consequences and one of them is that the call out and associated costs are not the landlords expense but the tenants. Check first - it does happen within rentals, I know because we check.