Can a master electrician do a new panel on your rental property without your permission and no permit?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Camrose
7/7/2021 at 1:51:57 PM

We have a rental property and went to inspect it. The Dad who is a master electrical admitted to putting in a new panel as well as more work in our out building. This was all done without our permission and any permits.

User Icon
Pouria from PR Electric in North Vancouver
Date/Time7/7/2021 at 12:09:04 PM

Permit is required for new wiring.

User Icon
Jamie in Camrose
Date/Time7/7/2021 at 4:13:43 PM

So the electrician can go into my home without permission and do this job?

User Icon
Date/Time7/7/2021 at 5:55:25 PM


Permit must be pulled for any wiring ,

User Icon
Date/Time7/7/2021 at 11:59:52 PM

No. All work, regardless of if you are a master electrician or not must be inspected by the ESA. There are 2 types of people who can pull electrical permits. Homeowners and licenced electrical contractors. Being a master electrician isn't enough. You must be a master electrician with an insurance policy under a company. And even then you are still required to pull a permit through the ESA.

User Icon
Ian in Edmonton
Date/Time7/7/2021 at 8:36:34 PM

It's true that permits are supposed to be in place before any work occurs however it's a common occurrence for permits to be pulled after work has started (or finished). In this case it sounds like all the work is fully exposed (not buried behind drywall); therefore pulling a permit after the fact should not be such a big deal. Odds are it will pass inspection without any hiccups. Sometimes municipalities will charge double if the work is started or finished. In my career as a building inspector I've witnessed house foundations completed before pulling a building permit on many occasions; we had one contractor who would call for a foundation inspection and would hand over the drawings and permit application on site at the same time (rural Alberta).

User Icon
Date/Time7/8/2021 at 9:23:04 AM

permits are essential and better done 1st as it is usually done by a licensed professional but can be pulled after by home owner. If this guy did it right then get it inspected and if all good and he did not charge you for anything then you got some very expensive work done for free..all bonus

User Icon
Date/Time7/18/2021 at 2:13:48 AM

Hello Jamie

I assume by your story, the Master is the father of the tenant.

So as pointed out, only an LEC or a homeowner can pull a permit for electrical work. Even in this case you cannot pull the permit because even though you own the unit, you cannot do electrical work in it because it is not owner occupied , so only a LEC can pull the necessary permit.

To do a panel change, there typically needs to have a disconnect and reconnect with the utility and they will required a reconnection authorization, so again it no permit was issued this could not happen.

So either there is a disconnect after the meter and he was able to isolate the old panel or he did it hot which is extremely dangerous.

My only concern here would be there was no permits or inspections completed. You could argue that the work was unauthorized, but as a landlord (assuming he did a good job) why would you complain about somebody upgrading your property and not charging you?

Now if he caused a mess and made your property unsafe, that is a different story.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell, CD, ME

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get quotes from top-rated contractors