Separate metering for flat over restaurant

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    Separate metering for flat over restaurant

    I have a property with a flat on 1st floor and a restaurant on the ground floor, so the main meters for gas and electricity are running from the restaurant. The flat has been letting out more than 17 years and it was agreed with the previous owner that the tenant paid a fix utilities rate for electricity, gas and water (Ā£200 for the whole year).

    After 17 years the rate is still the same and I am losing out (it is only enough to cover for water). I proposed to the tenant to increase the rate but he refused, I also suggested that I would install separate meters for the flat and he refused as well. It is very difficult for me to measure how much he is using for gas and electricity because both the restaurant and flat are sharing the same meters.

    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

    #2
    Put a prepayment meter in the circuit - leave it to the various people who are supplied off that circuit to put tokens/money into the meter to pay for what is used.

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      #3
      I dont think that he can refuse for meters to be put in. The agreement was that while he used the restaurants utlities he paid a proportion of them. Now he will have his own utilities and will have no choice but to pay them. As David mentions, if you are concerned that he will not pay simply put in pre-pay meters.
      For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a solicitor nor a specialist. I have simply spent many years in the business and am expressing my opinions. I would urge caution to any individual using these forums as a sole basis for decision without first speaking to a solicitor.

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        #4
        Thanks for the points. But as I said, he refused to allow me to install new meters for the flat (you can understand why), please note that he had an agreement with the previous landlord to pay certain amount for utilities 17 years ago, and unfortunately the rate is still the same from the original agreement.

        Maybe I need a direction from the legal point of view, am I allowed to install the meters and let him pay for the utilities he is using considering the original agreement?

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          #5
          It all depends on precisely what was agreed 17 years ago and whether the agreement is still enforceable. And what kind of tenancy does the flat-dweller have?
          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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            #6
            He is a regulated tenant.

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              #7
              Forgot to say, initialy it was a one year contract but after the first year there was no other contract.

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                #8
                So simply re-write the contract - if he no sign it, then move to end the tenancy and repossess in the proper way. A tenant from 17 years ago (i.e. circa 1988) who moved in before 15th January 1989 is definitely a regulated tenant - but you cannot do a year's contract with a regulated tenant! So make sure first he is a regulated tenant - if he is, then apply for re-registration of rent. If he isnt, then end the tenancy by giving the correct notice if he wont sign a contract renewing it.

                There are rules with regard to reselling of electricity as well - you might want to look those up, they might help.

                Other alternative is to put the matter into court for the court to decide.

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                  #9
                  if he is a regulated tenant the rent officer might be able to give you some useful info ...
                  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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                    #10
                    Is there any chance that he may be a Protected Shorthold tenant from the Housing Act 1980? I believe that this may make him easier to get rid of.

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                      #11
                      Thanks for the comments, I will discuss with the rent officer to see what he says.

                      Thanks again.

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                        #12
                        Shorthold conditions

                        It is worth remembering also that even if the initial contract was for a protected shorthold tenancy,(fixed term of between 1 and 5 years), the tenant must have been given the appropriate shorthold notice, in the form laid down in law, before the tenancy was granted. If the shorthold conditions were not met then it is most likely a fully protected tenancy was created.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          which type of meter?

                          Hi Martin. I don't know about the legal side of the tennancy, but if you want to meter the flat you have two options. One is to install a check meter that measures the units and charge accordingly, or a coin meter which means you have to go and empty it. The second is costly, but upgrade the lateral main to current standards, and have EDF install a cutout (service head) in the flat. The tennant can then arrange to have a meter fitted by whoever he wants to buy his electric from, and he pays them. If he wants to tamper with the meter in any way, that is down to him, as you will no longer be responsible for the supply, and consequently have no charges whatsoever to do with the flat. This is then down to the supply company and the tennant. Hope this helps. There are more details to this, email me if you need to know more, but this is an overview.
                          Regards

                          Elektratek
                          Regards

                          Elektratek Ltd.


                          For information only. No responsability is taken for any actions performed by use of this posted message.

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                            #14
                            Thanks for your points Elektratek. I already contacted the suppliers and they were happy to install seperate meters for the flat but the tenant won't let me.

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