Prepay meters for gas n elec?

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  • Prepay meters for gas n elec?

    Ok guys, posted quite a few questions today, mind working overtime with lots of things going round in my head. Just wondering whats your views on prepaid meters used for gas n electric? just found out tyhe property im buying has them fitted, on the face of it think its a good thing and would be a plus point for prospective tennants, am i right thinking this?

  • #2
    Originally posted by jonathan2200 View Post
    Just wondering whats your views on prepaid meters used for gas n electric? just found out tyhe property im buying has them fitted, on the face of it think its a good thing and would be a plus point for prospective tennants, am i right thinking this?
    Depends really on your target market for tenants. If you're going for professionals, then they will not normally regarded as a good thing - such tenants prefer a credit meter which they'll pay by direct debit or as quarterly bill. Direct debit allows you to get the cheapest tarrifs; it's well known that prepayment meters are the most expensive way to get your gas and electricity. Plus they may be adjusted by the utility co to recoup a previous debt, which is pretty nefarious.

    On the other hand, if you're letting to, say, a DSS tenant living on a hand-to-mouth existence, they will probably expect and prefer to have a prepayment meter so they can budget for it more easily.

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    • #3
      Prepaid meters are pretty bad if you're looking at rented to "average" tenants.
      Not only are they inconvenient but they also cost more: "According to Consumer Focus estimates, prepayment meters can cost on average an additional £195/year for gas and electricity." (from moneysupermarket)

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      • #4
        A big no from me for pre-payment meters.

        Be pro-active though and make meter readings part of a detailed inventory. Give utility co the name of T when they move in with readings too.

        Oh and I used to be one of those DSS ts but I have always paid via DD and get myself on the cheapest tariff. If a DD is set up straight away then DDs will be cheaper (although I did have to tell BG twice that I wanted to start DD asap instead of waiting 3 months for 1st bill to come through).
        I'm a good tenant with great landlords
        I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

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        • #5
          yes thinking of it that way your right, would be an inconvinience for someone working full time. I dont intent to rent to anyone other than either proffessional or working family, not dss.
          Would the meter need to be removed to revert to conventional credit system or would it be just a call to energy provider, and if it requires removing what would the approximate cost be??

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          • #6
            The cost to move onto a credit meter is iro £55 per meter.

            Companies may not be willing to change to a credit meter for rental properties - this was my experience.

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            • #7
              You'll need to contact the utilities company regarding the cost. I believe they are reluctant to remove them once fitted as they know they'll be paid for any fuel used.
              Personally, I consider prepay meters to be legalised loan sharking. The might make payments 'easier' for hand to mouth tenants, but they charge an outrageous premium for the privelage.
              I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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              • #8
                would i need to tell the provider its a rental property as the property owner?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jonathan2200 View Post
                  would i need to tell the provider its a rental property as the property owner?
                  Can't think of any reason why the utilities company would be required to know, except as a courtesy. Obviously your mortgage provider and insurance compnaies need to know.
                  I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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                  • #10
                    ok just phoned supplier and they say £52 per meter to change back (plus they will need to credit score me) dfinately not decided i will change back but it only a week turn around, also i could maybe wait util ready to be let and just see what feedback i get from prospective tennants, if it effects the interest i get then i will just pay to get converted.

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                    • #11
                      Change your provider, and then get them to change the meter to a credit meter.
                      I organise a lot of changes, and we never pay a fee.

                      Try British Gas.
                      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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                      • #12
                        Great recommendation, definately worth a few phone calls to different providers, suppose it be worth doing just to get on a better (cheaper) tarriff, every bit i save is profit in my pocket

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                        • #13
                          Just noticed from one of your other posts, that this property is a repo. Check with the utitites to make sure they know the previous owners have moved on. Reason that pre-pay meters are put it is often to recover bad debts - therefore the tarrif can be ramped up so the debt is recovered more quickly. If utilities are made aware that the debtors are gone, they will chase them elsewhere, and should reduce the charge on your property back to the normal level.

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                          • #14
                            Great thanks for the replys guys, just to update, my purchase on the repo property has gone through and i get the keys thursday 19th, gonna make a few calls now to see if i can get meters converted to standard credit type (hopefully free of charge), i will let yous know how i get on.

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                            • #15
                              utility supplier or distribution company

                              Originally posted by jonathan2200 View Post
                              Great thanks for the replys guys, just to update, my purchase on the repo property has gone through and i get the keys thursday 19th, gonna make a few calls now to see if i can get meters converted to standard credit type (hopefully free of charge), i will let yous know how i get on.
                              Hell jonathan,unfortunately the problem is

                              If you move new tenants in and they get into debt with a utility supplier and do nothing to clear the debt.

                              After several warning letters to the tenants,utility supplier can obtain a "Warrant" from a magistrate and change the meter back to pre-payments meters to clear the debt and you cant stop them if they have a valid warrant.

                              Your back to square one..

                              And you cannot put into a TA,you cannot change the meters,as the meters fitted will belong to the utility supplier or distribution company depending on the area you live it.
                              Thunderbirds are go

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