Washing machine meter legality

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    Washing machine meter legality

    i have a small hmo non licensable due to locality. It had a meter on the washing machine when I bought it but I disconnected it. I m finding that 1 tenant is doing 2 - 3 washes every day and so obviously is taking advantage of it and also hogging it. I stated in their tenancy agreements fair useage which I defined as about 4 a week. Anyway if I re-instate meter giving them fair amount of notice can I only set the meter price per hour as to the actual cost to me ie work out electricity and water cost to me per hour etc etc or can I say £1 a wash etc. I ask this because I read on this forum you can not make a profit on electricity meters? This is separate to the issue of their rent which may be reduced to reflect the cost of fair useage of said washing machine.

    Wouldn't increasing the rent make more sense. By the way is it a washer drier, because if it is, therein lies your problem?


      2-3 washes a day !!! Is he running a launderette........


        Originally posted by Dreamingofsea View Post
        Anyway if I re-instate meter giving them fair amount of notice
        This would be covered by resale of Gas and Electric regulation


        The maximum price at which gas or electricity may be resold is the same price as that paid by the person who is reselling it ("the reseller"), including any standing charges.
        Thunderbirds are go


          Are you sure the T is doing this or just hear say? Unfortunately this as well as heating full blast during summer is what T's tend to do when they don't have responsibility of the bills.

          You need to charge them the same amount as you would get charged by the supplier, you can't make a profit from it, it would be make more sense to increase rent accordingly.


            Thanks everyone for their answers to my post. I know since I ve observed first hand and from a tenant grassing the other up for hogging the machine and the noise it makes that this one tenant does use the washing machine that much - unbelievable as it is.

            perhaps the answer is to put the tenant’s rent up to pay for the 2 washes a day but I know that the other tenant who grassed her up has also an issue with the noise of it and the fact that this girl is putting washing on after 9pm and also on 3 hr cycles for 3 items of clothing.

            I have rules no washes ending after 9pm and asked please only put a full load on and they know that but if I m not there I can t enforce - I am dependent on them thinking of their housemates and the cost of running the machine. I hate to say it but anyone that’s not paying the bills doesn’t care that much but I also have to say I have 2 very considerate tenants that do care.

            it so I think the idea was the meter even if it is for cost (which I understand is what is legal) will dis-courage this girl from using it so much.

            That was the idea but the other 2 women don t do this and only do say 3 washes a week. So it was just to discourage the noise pollution, hogging and from my point of view taking advantage of a free wash.

            Thanks everyone one for their input.


              I don't think the Ofgem regulations would apply in this situation. You aren't reselling electricity but selling a service. So, not only is the Electricity, Standing charge to be taken into account, but also the maintenance and provision of the machine, water etc.... The Electric recharge would more apply if you put your own meter in on the main supply after your electric company one and charged all the occupants more money. ( I could be wrong !!)

              Increasing the rent for one person who 'allegedly' uses the machine more will cause friction between all occupants, which will end up back with you.

              Have you considered a timer? so the machine only operates between certain hours of the day. This would get over the unsociable operating hours issue. Or providing tokens each month for the machine. 10 tokens included in the rent, additional ones have to be purchased?


                I put a coin-op on a tumble dryer. It's easy to do. I suspect your tenant is either washing a few items at a time (I had one tenant who put the washer on for just one t-shirt) or is doing washing for other people. Two wash loads a week is reasonable - one for clothes and one for bedding and towels.


                  You're not selling the electricity you're selling a separate service involving electricity.
                  The only objection I can see is that you are, essentially removing something that the tenant already has as part of the rent and then charging them for it.
                  You might want to reduce the rent by 4 washes a month to compensate them (including the tenants who weren't abusing the privilege).
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                    This tenant doesn't happen to work in a kitchen do they?

                    I used to use my washing machine every evening back when I used to work in a kitchen some 20 years ago. You get home, you get out of your whites, you get them on a boil wash straight away. This could be why they are doing a wash every day with only a few items each time.

                    Would your two tenants consider moving rooms so that the one using the washing machine is closer and the one that has complained might be further away?


                      Originally posted by Dreamingofsea View Post
                      and the fact that this girl is putting washing on after 9pm and also on 3 hr cycles for 3 items of clothing.
                      You must have the patience of a saint !!! This has now validated why i have not gone into the HMO side of things. They are like children..... with a learning disability.


                        Thanks everyone for their help. So it seems it is legal to put a meter back on and charge £1 a wash . I was intending to reduce the rent by £15 a month to give 15 included washes a month. I think this is fair for 1 person. Apparently she has just been putting in a few items say 2 t shirts in 1 wash which hopefully this action will prevent.


                          How about the obvious step of speaking to the offending tenant first. Although it's likely they are over-using the washing machine, it's also highly likely it is being overstated by the complainants and isn't quite as bad as they are making out.

                          Maybe your tenant just needs a bit of education.

                          As an example, I had a tenant who thought nothing of turning the tumble drier knob to 3 hrs for 1 or 2 items, but a quick education sorted the problem.

                          Another example, I also had a lodger who washed small amounts at a time, and a few words changed this to normal habits. (Obviously a bit easier to monitor with a lodger).


                            As jpkeates implied, you could be in breach of contract to do that if their tenancy agreement offers something different. This may not make a difference if the tenant doesnt make an issue of it, but if they do you would need to think again


                              I have a washer and a dryer with a coin meter for each - shared by 4 studio flats.

                              I purposely went for a basic washing machine which gave a dial for a 30 min or a 60 min wash (other options are available but involve messing with buttons).

                              I then set the machine at £1 for a 70 minute timer - enough for 2 x 30 min or 1 x 60 min with a few minutes spare.

                              For ease, I also set the dryer at £1 for 70 minutes.

                              These rates are excellent when compared to the local laundrette so I get no complaints.

                              I also have a timer which turns both machines off between 10pm and 7am and a pleasant sign to suggest last washes should be at 8.30pm.

                              My communal CCTV covers the machines too lol

                              I wouldn't go down the route of tokens as tenants will be calling at all hours to get them.


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