Economy 7 and a smart meter

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    #31
    She was in debt, that's why they put in the pre-payment meter. I have just realised that her rent which was originally £700 pcm in 2012 and went up a couple of years ago to £725 is far too low. An almost identical flat in the same area has just been let at £900 pcm. The people who managed the flat set the rent at what she could afford rather than what it was worth. Looking on Rightmove today there are no two-bed flats below £750 on the to let or let agreed list. She says "Just had a look at it, (the one at £750) its going to cost me even more than it is here i think. The rent is more. Yes its £25 but still a lot. And its not just because im not working, lots of people are actually struggling with everything this year i think. Even those who work. We will see what happens."

    Actually, what will happen is that we will sell the flat next year. If we sell it with her in it, they will put the rent up a lot so she will have to leave. If we put the rent up it will be the same. It's a big flat and the one that's been let at £900 says "Applicants will need to show a minimum annual income of £27,000 in order to help pass the referencing process".

    The reason I want to sell is to raise more money towards a house near to my son's new build. I intend to put my flat on the market in about May. That will give her about six months to find something more suitable with gas central heating. I want to be civilised about it and to help her. I guess you will think I've been a mug.

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      #32
      Originally posted by NaomiB View Post
      . I want to be civilised about it and to help her. I guess you will think I've been a mug.
      Certainly not, you have been a decent human being trying to run a business but at the same time be fair to another human being. The problem can be that if the rent becomes too far behind what the market is running at then the business becomes un-viable and getting it back to where it should be can be very difficult. The tenant (like a lot of them these days ) is in for a hard time, all rents have gone up and we are heading for the crisis to get a lot worse.

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        #33
        Originally posted by NaomiB View Post
        I guess you will think I've been a mug
        I don't.
        You've considered things that other people may not have done, but there's lots of different ways to run a business, particularly one that involves people and their homes.

        It might help your tenant to understand your longer term plans, because, you're right, she's going to need to find somewhere else to live next year or to have an increased income.
        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).

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          #34
          The firm who were fully managing the flat for me had only put the rent up by £25 pcm in the nine years they were looking after it. It is now £725 and, as luck would have it, the one below it has been advertised at £1000 pcm today.

          When I'd mentioned about putting the rent up I was told that she couldn't afford any more. What happens normally when the rent should go up but the tenant can't afford it? Do you put the rent up anyway and wait for them to leave and then get new tenants in? I can see it would be a bit tricky.

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            #35
            If you're going to sell it, why make life stressful for both of you. IIWY, just issue a s21 notice, and explain you are selling. You only need a two month void to make £1000 a month for 6 months pretty pointless.
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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              #36
              Originally posted by NaomiB View Post
              . It is now £725 and, as luck would have it, the one below it has been advertised at £1000 pcm today.

              When I'd mentioned about putting the rent up I was told that she couldn't afford any more.
              The rent is way behind where it should be, as said above if you are selling then do nothing with the rent simply issue the S21 and sell as vacant possession. The tenant is in an impossible position, the market has clearly moved on a lot since she first signed the lease, it matters not if she can afford your proposed rent increase or not...... either pay it or move to somewhere cheaper, the choice is not with the tenant, i feel it is this lesson which will come as the biggest shock to her.

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                #37
                I wanted to start a new topic but my post is unapproved. I've just noticed that in 2015 the lettings agent said "She would like to renew her tenancy at the end of their current term and has requested a 12 month term.

                Will this mean I've got her until the end of next October?

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                  #38
                  Maths isn't my strong point, but 12 months is a year and 2015 was six years ago.
                  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).

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                    #39
                    That's reassuring. I don't remember any other requests like that.

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                      #40
                      I've been philosophising about tenants & storage heaters, and have come to a conclusion: They are unwilling to use the things because they irrationally think that the landlord will get the benefit of their electricity, in the event they are evicted at some point during the day. There's no other explanation, is there?
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                        #41
                        Maybe some tenants are a bit dim. Maybe we throw them in without sufficient information. I have learned a lot this past week on how the heaters work, even that she'd put in a new pre-payment meter. I've found a nice video on exactly how to program the new night storage heaters. Now I've got to find out exactly when her night rate is. The edf website says that it could be seven hours between 11pm and 8am or even in blocks and this is not changed when the clocks go forward or back.

                        In her initial email she said "My economy 7 plug doesn’t work. Has never worked and has been inspected but nothing could be done". That turned out to be the switch on the immersion heater. Where the timer is I have no idea. I will make sure that it's all sorted next week.

                        I've learned that she is not working because she's at college studying education. She must be on benefits which I can see might make finding another smaller flat more difficult. I've found out how low her rent is. The lettings agent who managed the flat says that I was "reminded the rent was below market rate." but this didn't happen. Why didn't it happen? It was because they knew that, if they put the rent up, she wouldn't be able to afford it, and they would have trouble with her getting into arrears and having to evict her and all that. And she now says "The unscrupulous Landlords are currently taking advantage of the lack of the properties and hiking the rents." and "what do you think of a £1000 monthly rent for a two bedroom flat? People will grab them because there's nothing available and then will be unable to continue paying and end up with arrears."

                        If I had not taken back the management of this flat after about eight years when they merged with another company, I would have known nothing about all this, it would have been swept under the carpet. Cracks were beginning to show though as she had missed a payment and the new company had arranged a payment plan.

                        If I was my tenant's mother I would have said, in this order, don't waste your time on this university degree, get a smaller flat that will cost you less to heat or come back home and live with me. However, when she gets her rent paid by housing benefit, there is not much incentive to move home with mum.

                        At the moment she doesn't seem to want a flat at £750, the lowest on the market. She wants one she can love and afford. The next problem for me will be that she won't be able to get a flat that she can love for the amount she can afford. Not only that she won't be able to get a flat that will accept her when she is not working and on benefits.

                        Thanks for listening. It does help.

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                          #42
                          From your picture, I think the lower immersion is probably connected to a consumer unit that only comes live during the cheap rate times. Same with the storage heaters. Therefore the exact times are pretty irrelevant. You should get that lower immersion repaired though. Using peak rate for all her hot water is not helping matters.
                          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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                            #43
                            Thanks, I will get a picture of the lower consumer unit to see if the immersion heater is on that but I will assume it is. The heaters and the water heater are on one consumer unit and I think the heaters turn off when they are full but does she want (need) a full tank of hot water each day, if at all? There is a dishwasher and an electric shower.

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                              #44
                              Naomi, are you making excuses not to repair the immersion?
                              To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by NaomiB View Post
                                but does she want (need) a full tank of hot water each day, if at all? There is a dishwasher and an electric shower.
                                She appears to have no clue, the electric shower heats up the cold water as it needs it..... same with the dishwasher, they are not fed by the hot water in the tank, so it appears the only reason she needs a copper tank with 200 Ltrs of hot water is to run the tap to wash her hands, and maybe rinse the odd cup ??? And let us not forget it was heated up by electricity at the high peak rate....... i do lament the failure of the state education system.

                                She may benefit from an on demand water heater which heats up the water like an electric shower does, this could feed the sink in the kitchen and the bathroom, either way, it is only with a good sit down and getting her to understand how all this works which will bring her bills down.
                                Last edited by Hudson01; 27-11-2021, 11:00 AM. Reason: spelling

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