How to charge for oil

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    How to charge for oil

    Hi all

    Am new to being a landlord as job move means we are letting out our own home, so this is all new!

    Does anybody know how to go about charging tenants for oil for hot water/central heating. Our tank is nearly empty and the tenants are due to move in in about 3 weeks, it costs about £500 to fill up, so we could fill it ourselves and then charge them when they move out for how much they've used, or we could make them pay for a share. My dh doesn't see why the tenants should be using oil that we have paid for, and how can we be sure they will pay, or that there is deposit left over to pay for it if they should cause damage?

    Any help appreciated .....

    #2
    Why can't you make T responsible for ordering/paying, as with electricity/gas/telephone services?
    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).

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      #3
      Just let the T, fill it up and log the amount of oil in the tank in the inventory.
      So when they leave you know how much there was, and that they need to order some oil now.
      Disclaimer: What I say is either right or wrong. It may be advisable to check what I say with a solicitor. If he says I am right then I am right, unless he is wrong in which case I am wrong; but if he says I am wrong then I am wrong, unless he is wrong in which case I am right

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        #4
        Yes- this is, I think, how hire cars' petrol is organised.
        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).

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          #5
          Did you take readings for the tank when your tenants moved in? What was agreed at the start of the tenancy?

          When it comes to topping up the oil tank it works better when the landlord assumes responsibility. Saving dispute at the end of the tenancy over gage readings, rebates, usage etc.

          If you work out the average amount of fuel used annually and charge pro rata it works out well. Just make sure you have an agreement with the tenant to pay any additional top up amounts.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks all. We have not let yet so nothing has been agreed. The problem is it costs about £500 to fill the tank, the tenants are only due to stay 6 months so may only use a couple of hundred pounds, or maybe more so it is difficult to say. Also, the digital guage on it will not work (have replaced it but still won't work), so has to be worked out manually which doesn't help!

            The electric/water scenario is different as you pay for what you have used as you go along, oil has to be bought in advance and then used and you may have some left over.

            Any other thoughts appeciated, or any-body who has the same system.

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              #7
              Dip it with a stick at start of letting, and again at end.

              pm
              Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

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                #8
                tenants have to leave as they found -whatever was in when they started should be in when they leave
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by property mongrel View Post
                  Dip it with a stick at start of letting, and again at end.

                  pm
                  I think that without a working gauge this is the only viable option. A proper dipstick mind, not just a handy branch!

                  You need to consider what happens if the tenant leaves more fuel than they found, would they expect a refund? If so, negotiate the rate in the tenancy agreement - I would specify in £ per litre, that way you will get the extra oil at todays rates. Actually, you could probably put a low rate in as you will have no idea of the quality of oil put in (does it vary?) and the Ts won't be concentrating on the end of the tenancy details when they sign up.

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                    #10
                    IMHO: Fill it up. The tenant then fills it up as required and then fills it to full when he leaves. Although this is going to cost you £500 it is really the fairest way. As Jeffrey says, it is the way fuel costs are usually handled with hire cars, and I can (just for fun) add that if you hire an aircraft "dry" - that it paying for fuel and oil in addition to the cost of using it, then it is the usual way of paying for the aviation fuel used. Of course - it is more complicated than that as you may not need the aircraft to be full of fuel when you use it as if it is, it may be too heavy to take off with the amount of freight/number of pax that you intend to carry!

                    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.

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                      #11
                      I would leave it empty, then there is not debate.

                      Point out its empty - as near as can be, and will need filling ASAP.

                      You wouldnt put £500 on a gas meter and then say to the tnt when you leave top it back to £500.

                      You are just causing problems before thay have even arisen.


                      And the last time I hired a car the company took a swipe of my credit card, in case I didnt return the car as per the agreement. Do your have a credit card swipey machine. NO!


                      Leave it empty, its their problem, dont make it yours.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by gullarm View Post
                        I would leave it empty, then there is not debate.

                        Point out its empty - as near as can be, and will need filling ASAP.

                        You wouldnt put £500 on a gas meter and then say to the tnt when you leave top it back to £500.

                        You are just causing problems before thay have even arisen.


                        And the last time I hired a car the company took a swipe of my credit card, in case I didnt return the car as per the agreement. Do your have a credit card swipey machine. NO!


                        Leave it empty, its their problem, dont make it yours.
                        My thoughts exactly.

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