Can tenant change from pre-payment meters to d/debit?

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  • Can tenant change from pre-payment meters to d/debit?

    Im about to take on a property which I have just discovered today has a Gas and and Electric Pre payment meters.

    What I would like to know
    1) Can I change these to normal meters and pay DD?
    2) Does the landlord need informing of the change and do I need his permission?
    3) SHould there be a charge for the change, I am presuming it will be at my expense?

    Thanking you in advance for your replies.

    Oh one other thing, why when viewing property with an Agent do they having nothing to do with the loft space? Does anyone ever look up there to check safety/problems etc?

  • #2
    As a tenant - have had two properties where had payment meters - and asked LL if okay to change on the basis that I was paying extra by having the card and would do DDR for payments.

    Neither objected.

    However, I had to be in when the engineer agreed to change it - via power company and in both cases they failed to turn up on day 1 - when I waited in all day having a day off on leave.

    Second time - was for a Saturday (at my insistence as they had failed to materialise) and then it was at 7pm on a Saturday evening!!!

    May depend on property type whether LL agrees or not - both occasions they were and where I am now - large studios - and I agreed to rent for a minimum of 1 year (both occasions LL decided to sell with me in - another story).

    May also depend on LL history of tenants - and whether or not they defaulted and how you can prove that you are "good tenant" material.

    There was NOTHING at all about power supply in my tenancy agreement - but I was told about it when I first viewed the property - and did not object. So it might have been possible for LL to say I verbally agreed to terms - therefore no change. But given it wasn't in the agreement - this was okay.

    If it is in the agreement - it may be a different matter.

    There are grey areas and disputes on various sites similar to this about whether it is lawful even if in the agreement i.e. - you will only accept the current supplier and not chase after the latest deal - tenants (including the current ex-tenant of my property) - move and don't give forwarding addresses to the power companies - and although I pass on his bills to the agency - he's now getting serious red-letters for demand on payment.

    Not sure - but suspect the owner of the property eventually gets chased for the non-payment - could be wrong.

    Again, this is why if you set-up DDR - they will look more favourably - LLs here will tell you stuff if not.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      Originally posted by pooks View Post
      1) Can I change these to normal meters and pay DD?
      These usually get fitted either because a previous resident requested them, or because they didn't pay the bills and had them forced upon them - these days they can't simply cut you off for non-payment
      2) Does the landlord need informing of the change and do I need his permission?
      In theory, this is a matter between the resident/bill payer (you) and the utility company - providing you have an OK credit history, they should be happy to fit them. It matters not what the debts of the previous occupiers might have been. Suspect it would be politic to check with the landlord first but can't see why they'd object... usually prepayment meters are viewed as something of a liability.
      3) SHould there be a charge for the change, I am presuming it will be at my expense?
      I can't imagine for a moment that there will be a charge, but it might depend on the supplier so might be worth asking in advance if you're concerned.


      • #4
        Thank you for your advice. Since posting I have been in touch with my current supplier to ask their advice. They have told me that they will replace the Pre-Payment meters with 'ordinary ' meters at no extra cost should I continue to use them when I move into this new house. I have no problem with this. They did also mention, it would be polite to mention to the landlord of what I am doing.

        Thank you again.


        • #5
          Probably not a bad idea, as sometimes prepayment meters are used to recoup losses from previous non-payers.


          • #6
            Just an update.

            I told LL what I wanted to do and he had no problem. Got them both changed to "normal" meters!

            Also now Im going to have a water meter put in! In my last property we were paying about £11pcm for water we used, whereas the new house without a water meter charge a standard £32pcm, ........big difference! SO hopefully the water meter will be put in next week too!

            Thanks for all your help.


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