Tenant wants water/gas meters ?

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  • Tenant wants water/gas meters ?

    Hi everyone

    Does anyone know if it is possible for a tenant to force a landlord to install a water or pre-paid gas meters ? We have a tenant (about to go on housing benefit) who has asked for these, to help with their financial management, and are minded to say no as it may not be what we want in the longer term. However I saw this advice :-

    http://www.uswitch.com/Water/What-Water-Meter.html

    "If you are renting your property for longer than six months then you are entitled to have a water meter installed in the property."

    Can anyone advise what the situation might be in terms of the tenant being able to dictate to the landlord what meters should be installed ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mick

  • #2
    The problem you have is that the contract for the supply of all ultilites is between the supplier and the consumer so as landlord you cannot stop the tenant having a water meter installed - it's free after all
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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    • #3
      Water is different to gas/electric - there is only one supplier and the owner has no say in whether a meter is installed or not.

      For gas/electric, when you need to ensure that there is heating and light during vacant periods the utility companies are bad enough to deal with in any case, it is much worse where token meters are involved - particularly if they have been set to recover arrears!

      In our tenancy agreements the tenant is allowed to change from credit to token meters provided we are informed, and provided that they arrange to change it back to credit when they leave. If not they are liable for our reasonable fees for arranging this.
      On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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      • #4
        My area is portsmouth water and when a tenant asked for a meter they said i had to get written permission from the L/L. Maybe differant companies differant rules

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        • #5
          ..............or even different
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can understand you not wanting a water meter. But for what it's worth, in my experience they actually save the tenant quite a bit of money. And if he's happy, then hopefully you have a secure customer!

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            • #7
              Many thanks for all the replies. I don't think ultimately it really matters to us, so we'll probably go for it in the long term, as long as there is no financial or other hit for us and it keeps the tenants happy (both now and in the future). Slightly worried about the "customer pays for water leakage" thing which I've also heard about, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

              Thanks
              Mick

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              • #8
                Originally posted by talby View Post
                Slightly worried about the "customer pays for water leakage" thing which I've also heard about, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
                Yes I guess that would be "interesting". It's entirely possible to suddenly get massive water bills when you're metered, due to an underground and hitherto undetected leak between the meter and the property. If I was the tenant and that happened to me, I'd be damned sure it wouldn't be down to me to pay it! So there's certainly an incentive fpr landlords to keep their properties unmetered, I'd have thought.

                In my own house, which isn't metered, there's about 25 yards of garden/drive in between where they'd install the meter and where the (ageing) pipe enters the house... I'm certainly not keen on having a meter fitted any time soon...

                As regards the gas/electric thing - yes, different issue altogether; there's no reason for the tenant not to have whatever metering system he wants, as AFAIK it's always installed (and reinstated for the next occupant) free anyway.

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                • #9
                  I think that the landlords house insurance should cover for "escape of water". It's probably a rare event but it wouldn't take long to lose a few hundred pounds worth of water.

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                  • #10
                    My understanding of water meters is as follows

                    1 If you have it fitted and change your mind within a year it can be taken out but longer than a year and its there for good

                    2 If you have more adults than bedrooms in the house dont get a meter.

                    I read this somewhere but cant remember where

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnboy View Post
                      .....

                      2 If you have more adults than bedrooms in the house dont get a meter.

                      I read this somewhere but cant remember where
                      I've heard this too.

                      Does anyone know for sure if an electric meter can be removed if a tenant wants one and later moves out?

                      thanks

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pete's properties View Post
                        I've heard this too.

                        Does anyone know for sure if an electric meter can be removed if a tenant wants one and later moves out?

                        thanks
                        Yes, a pre-payment meter can be removed at a later date.

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                        • #13
                          thanks, Colincbayley, that's good to hear

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Colincbayley View Post
                            Yes, a pre-payment meter can be removed at a later date.
                            But make sure the old tenant does this. Otherwise you (or someone) will have to house sit for an 8 till 1, or 12 till 6 appointment to do the exchange.

                            We had to do this for one landlord, and his bill was for a member of staff to be there for 3.75 hours at £22 an hour!
                            On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had a tenant who wanted a meter to save her money. Didn't really effect me and kept her happy to I was happy to let her change it. Regarding water leaks, then far as i know we have to pay anyway. I had a water company dig up a garden in one of my houses to sort out a leak that doesn't have a meter and they said cost would be capped at maximum of £150

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