meter changed by tenant

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  • #16
    How did they manage to accrue £900 arrears with a pre-payment meter??. Sounds like meter was changed recently. You need to contact supplier for date of change.

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    • #17
      They changed the meter at the start of the tenancy from a prepayment to a credit meter and then didn't pay any bills. I would definitely take the money out of the deposit. If you get the £900 out of the deposit, pay the bill and ask the electric company to reinstate the pre-payment meter for free so the same situation doesn't arise.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lavy View Post
        just had letter addressed to the occupier a bill for over £900 for electric used at this address including arreas no wonder they did not contact the supplier to get meter reinstated they just left. they have applied to the dps for full refund of their deposit can i dispute this on these grounds as it does state this in the tenancy agreement
        How much will it cost to get it changed?
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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        • #19
          not sure how much to have the meter changed,previous reply says arround £100 the main problem is the account and the fact the last bill for over £900 was addressed to the occupier and can i withhold the deposit on these grounds

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          • #20
            Originally posted by lavy View Post
            the main problem is the account and the fact the last bill for over £900 was addressed to the occupier and can i withhold the deposit on these grounds
            Well, whatever you do don't get involved with accepting liability for the £900. It's a worry that the bill has been addressed to 'the occupier' rather than the names of the individuals. It strongly suggests that they have taken their name off the account (ie, told the utility co that they are moving out) some time ago, so the account has been running up a bill in the name of 'the next occupant' - that will default to being you. Have you contacted the utility co yet? You need to explain the situation, give the date the old tenants left and the meter readings. You may have to provide proof, eg copy of AST agreement, council tax or something.

            But don't get yourself into a position where you pay the £900 and then have to reclaim that from the tenant by whatever means.

            Incidentally - don't worry about the cost of re-instating pre-payment meters! Most landlords get cross about tenants changing from credit to pre-payment, as others have said; and your situation is exactly why utility companies prefer pre-payment meters for tenanted propertiess. After this fiasco I suspect you'd struggle to stop them reinstalling them, let alone have to pay for it!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by lavy View Post
              not sure how much to have the meter changed,previous reply says arround £100 the main problem is the account and the fact the last bill for over £900 was addressed to the occupier and can i withhold the deposit on these grounds
              When they moved in, did you inform the utility companies about the change of tenant? Even with my pre payment meters, I put these in the tenants name. If you can get the utility company to chase the tenants for the £900 by showing them the AST, then I would charge them for changing the meter. If the utility company says you have to pay, go after the £900 and one you have the money, settle with the utility company.

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              • #22
                yes the account was put in the name of the tenant they had to also request a new key for the meter as i do not give out old keys so they had to also contact supplier for a new key and give there details They then requested a credit meter which was instaled without my permision The only thing i cant understand is why this bill is addressed to the occupier as they must have there details from registering utility companies seem to work in mysterious ways any explanation of how this may of come about and should i refund the deposit or not until i have confirmation this and other utilities have been paid up to date am i within my rights to do this as it does state in the tenancy agreement deposit will be witheld until confoirmation that all utility bills have been paid has been received thanks Lavy

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by lavy View Post
                  yes the account was put in the name of the tenant
                  [...]
                  The only thing i cant understand is why this bill is addressed to the occupier as they must have there details from registering
                  Er - see my post #20 above! And/or in addition to that, it's possible that the utility co might have deliberately put the bill into the name of 'the occupier' as a policy thing, just to elicit the new 'occupier' to contact them in a panic, in order to get names/forwarding addresses etc

                  should i refund the deposit or not until i have confirmation this and other utilities have been paid up to date am i within my rights to do this as it does state in the tenancy agreement deposit will be witheld until confoirmation that all utility bills have been paid has been received
                  Well, you are not supposed to that, no, because the utility bills are between the tenant and the company, and nothing to so with the landlord... however in the current circumstances where your tenant is evidently trying to stick you with the bill, I don't think even the tenant-friendly DPS arbitration service would look upon you unfavourably if you witheld the deposit at least until you had a definite commitment from the utility co that they will be chasing the tenant, not you, for the outstanding account.

                  Originally posted by bbva View Post
                  If the utility company says you have to pay, go after the £900 and one you have the money, settle with the utility company.
                  NO! you don't accept responsibility for the £900, end of story...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                    Well, whatever you do don't get involved with accepting liability for the £900. It's a worry that the bill has been addressed to 'the occupier' rather than the names of the individuals. It strongly suggests that they have taken their name off the account (ie, told the utility co that they are moving out) some time ago, so the account has been running up a bill in the name of 'the next occupant' - that will default to being you. Have you contacted the utility co yet? You need to explain the situation, give the date the old tenants left and the meter readings. You may have to provide proof, eg copy of AST agreement, council tax or something.

                    But don't get yourself into a position where you pay the £900 and then have to reclaim that from the tenant by whatever means.

                    Incidentally - don't worry about the cost of re-instating pre-payment meters! Most landlords get cross about tenants changing from credit to pre-payment, as others have said; and your situation is exactly why utility companies prefer pre-payment meters for tenanted properties. After this fiasco I suspect you'd struggle to stop them reinstalling them, let alone have to pay for it!
                    That's a good point if OP pays tenants £900 bill will be accepting liability.

                    If utility companies had there way they would have pre-payments meters in every home in the UK,Guaranteed Income,Guaranteed Profits....

                    They may get there anyway with theses All in one smart meters.....
                    Thunderbirds are go

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