Lock thermostat?

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    Lock thermostat?

    One of our tenants keeps increasing the thermostat to 23.5, house is like a sauna all day every day while no one is in.

    ..causing electricity and gas to be cost over £200 a month. We have a nest thermostat- locked it to a max temp of 21 & spoke to offending tenant. Now it seems to have been over-ridden, set to manual and set to 23.5 again.

    said tenant also has bad attitude, causes problems but is moving out in a month (can't wait).

    Does anyone know how to lock thermostat completely & is it legal? Thanks

    #2
    Tenants have a right to control the heating.

    Comment


      #3
      Bob, can I suggest in future you have one tenant, and the others are his lodgers: Tenant collects up the rent, and bill money, and settles bills himself. Any repairs can often be organised remotely by the tenant himself phoning British Gas giving them your policy no. Tenant finds any replacement lodgers, and if tenant himself moves out, one of the lodgers becomes the tenant.

      This is what I've been doing for 19 years with mine in London, and it has been fine so far.

      Comment


        #4
        Jk0, that sounds great but I don't understand how you do this in practise- Do u charge the lead tenant the total amount & he has to take the brunt of it when a room is empty? How do u manage to entice a tenant to be willing to take rent & find tenants & pay the bills? Do u offer him a discount? How do u choose which tenant is the lead when the lead tenant leaves? None of mine were willing to get involved in any way so far.

        if you're charging only one tenant, for the whole house, u must be getting a lot less than an HMO (the difference for me is £600 a month less to rent out whole house vs separate rooms)

        How does it work in a practical way- do u have a contract? How do u account for variations in rent when rooms are empty in the contract?

        So far my tenants haven't proved reliable enough to do anything like this. They wouldn't even open the door for a repair man lol. I'd be interested to know about how u manage that.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by bobwilson54 View Post
          Jk0, that sounds great! How much do u charge the lead tenant? How do u manage to entice a tenant to be willing to do all of that? How do u choose which tenant is the lead when the lead tenant leaves? None of mine were willing to get involved in any way so far.

          How does it work in a practical way- do u have contracts etc? Or is it just a contract between u and the lead tenant, where he pays the full amount (which presumably must change while rooms are empty)?
          Oh, well originally my letting agent found five sharers looking for somewhere. I told them they would have to nominate someone to collect up the rent etc. There is only one contract signed by the tenant.

          Regarding choosing a new tenant, usually they suggest one of the others takes over as tenant and I send them a tenancy agreement.

          The rent is £2000 pcm whether rooms are occupied or not. (It's up to tenant to find a new lodger in good time or make up the missing rent himself.)

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            #6
            Jk0, but you are getting considerably less rent than you would if you rented out the rooms separately. You could easily do the same thing by renting it out to a family, it makes no difference. Why bother with this if u can just rent to a family & get the same amount?

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              #7
              Originally posted by bobwilson54 View Post
              Jk0, but you are getting considerably less rent than you would if you rented out the rooms separately. You could easily do the same thing by renting it out to a family, it makes no difference. Why bother with this if u can just rent to a family & get the same amount?
              Not sure that is the case, as I have no voids in 19 years. You do the maths.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bobwilson54 View Post
                One of our tenants keeps increasing the thermostat to 23.5, house is like a sauna all day every day while no one is in.
                "Apparently we're happiest when it's 23.5C"

                The Daily Mail says so so it has to be true: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...C-weekend.html

                Where I live we think about wrapping up when the temperature drops below 23.5C.



                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by bobwilson54 View Post
                  One of our tenants keeps increasing the thermostat to 23.5......

                  Does anyone know how to lock thermostat completely & is it legal?
                  I had this problem with some tenants and the best remedy is to get them to pay for the fuel so they can use whatever they like when they like. There are companies who will pay utility bills for tenants and they can each pay their share to the company ( eg Glide ) .

                  Assuming you cannot do this I used a programmable room thermostat ( I used Danfoss) and set the times for the usual pattern - on for 1 or 2 hours in the morning and on for the evening. The engineer programmed in maximum temperature to 21.5C and any increase in temperature from set temperature to maximum +2C for 2 hours and then return to settings. My thermostat had a button to allow the heating to come on to raise the temperature for the two hours max and then return to settings so it was not locked as such but hard to abuse.

                  If someone is determined to use the 'free' heating then they will do it. I have had people put the heating on in a 7 bedroom house so that they can dry a shirt on a radiator - and yes there was a tumble dryer available. You also have to factor in that some people now live different lifestyles and will sleep in until afternoon and be active until 3 or 4 in the morning so they want their heat at almost the opposite times to your expectation.

                  At least you have the possibility of the heating returning to normal once this tenant has gone!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Best stat on the market for this is the landlord one from inspire home automation

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I imagine this will usually be a issue where bills are included depending on the type of tenant, so would recommend excluding if a feasible option.
                      Are the other tenants not complaining/intervening? If I shared with people who put it on 23 continuously I'd want to lock it too. A friend of mine lives with 3 other students who keep the heating on all day and when it gets too hot they all just open windows!!

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                        #12
                        I hope they weren't physics or engineering students!

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                          #13
                          I have installed Horstmann timers in my HMOs. The T presses a button and the heating comes on for a set time then automatically switches off. This seems to work well and prevents the heating being on full blast 24/7 which it was before.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Get a locking cover for the stat. You can get unbreakable ones online.

                            My favourite is a black one from this shed.

                            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...URrJjewWkW_ap2



                            Freedom at the point of zero............

                            Comment


                              #15
                              How does the tenant then exercise their legal right to control the heating?

                              Comment

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