Tenant has installed a gas meter

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    Tenant has installed a gas meter

    I am letting a property which has a fairly old but working boiler.

    Recently there have been problems with the boiler. I've just discovered from the engineer called out that the tenant has had a gas meter installed at the property. Every time she runs out of credit the gas goes off and the pilot light goes out. There is then a problem relighting it because it is an old an tempermental boiler.

    My feeling is she had no right to install the meter without permission and had she not done so there would not be continual problems relighting the boiler.

    Can anyone tell me where do i stand on this?

    #2
    I cannot see that T had any right to tamper (or authorise gas fitter to tamper) with your property's mains supply equipment.
    How was gas supply payment previously governed before meter installation?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      It was a standard meter where readings were taken and a bill issued.

      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      I cannot see that T had any right to tamper (or authorise gas fitter to tamper) with your property's mains supply equipment.
      How was gas supply payment previously governed before meter installation?

      Comment


        #4
        Did AST Agreement prohibit T from mucking around with mains supply installations; or are there any other clauses which T's action breached?
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Its a standard AST.

          Once clause says " You must not alter or add anything to the outside or structure of the property or the furniture, fixtures and household belongings that are on the list that you and we signed"
          Nothing specific though

          It akso says "We agree to keep the gas, water electricity space heating and water heating installations in good repair and proper working order"

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            I cannot see that T had any right to tamper (or authorise gas fitter to tamper) with your property's mains supply equipment.
            How was gas supply payment previously governed before meter installation?
            I'm not sure that it would be reasonable (or even possible?) to prevent a prepayment meter from being installed. If a gas or electric user fails to pay their bill when on a credit meter, the usual response of the utility co is to forcibly install a prepayment meter to prevent further debt and often set to recoup the existing debt.

            I'm not saying the tenant [b]is[b] in debt to the gas co; maybe she's requested the prepayment meter to be fitted for her own preference.

            The pilot light issue is a difficult one but I'd have thought relighting shouldn't be a problem with a properly working boiler, and that therefore it's probably down to you to get it sorted. I really don't think you can lean on the fact that it's caused by the prepayment meter and thus the tenant's fault, regardless of whether she's requested it or not..

            Comment


              #7
              Is not forcible action by gas supplier usually preceded by Notice to owner of property?
              Anyway, such action may not be what happened here; perhaps the meter was at T's request- which could breach the AST?
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                Is not forcible action by gas supplier usually preceded by Notice to owner of property?
                It's never happened to me but I doubt it very much... how would the gas supplier necessarily even know who the owner was? Can't see them checking Land Registry details - surely they'd just bang a letter off to the end-user/resident, who isn't likely to be keen to bring the matter to the attention of the LL?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I'm not so sure.
                  Statutory right to force entry is quite severe. Why shouldn't the Body contemplating it have to find out who owns the property to be entered?
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Apparently the tenant requested it as her gas bills were too high because the heating was on all the time.

                    Obviously setting the timer was just too advanced for her........

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would have thought that if the tenant initiated the change in meter and as a result the pilot light goes out because a continuous supply of gas is not maintained then she will have to re-light the pilot herself, or pay out of her own pocket for a suitable individfual to do so,

                      P.P.
                      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for all the replies

                        Comment


                          #13
                          To sirius

                          It sounds to me and probably anyone else reading this thread that you are trying to use this as an excuse for being such a sh*t landlord that you think its acceptable to rent a property with such an old and unreliable boiler! Did you ever take the time to think that your tennant is perhaps struggling financilly and that the last thing their needing is to have to then put up with your sub-standard heating system?
                          Instead of admiting (which you kinda have on this thread) that you, as a landlord, should at the very least be making sure your tennant has adequate heating. Shame on you! you give landlords a bad name!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Genuinelandlord !


                            This thread is nearly 4 years old,2008
                            Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              genuinelandlord,(which I doubt) T has every right to choose utility supplier and method of paymenty, but without LLs prior written approval they would be liable for any related problems eg relighting pilot if pre-payment meter cut off gas supply.

                              Comment

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