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hmonovice
23-08-2008, 10:52 AM
Hello Anyone got any advice about what to do with soaring energy prices? I rent a HMO house out with bills included and the tenants dont really care about economy.

I have bought a new house with meters in each room but they need updating. Is this a good investement. Then there is the question of heating. I need a new central heating system but could install electric ones which are expensive to run, but with meters could be cheaper for me.

TenantsLuvMe
23-08-2008, 13:57 PM
Hello Anyone got any advice about what to do with soaring energy prices? I rent a HMO house out with bills included and the tenants dont really care about economy.

I have bought a new house with meters in each room but they need updating. Is this a good investement. Then there is the question of heating. I need a new central heating system but could install electric ones which are expensive to run, but with meters could be cheaper for me.

I think the easier option and resolution to your problems is not to include bills with the rent.

DreamLifestyle
24-08-2008, 06:52 AM
Become a distributor for the Utility Warehouse and start earning another income stream from your tenants energy and telephony on a monthly basis.

Check out the link in my signature for more details.

mind the gap
24-08-2008, 16:09 PM
Many landlords of HMO's (usually student houses) in our city used to offer a 'bills included' package, but these have disappeared completely, since the steep hikes in energy bills. As you so rightly observe, people tend to waste energy if someone else is paying.

How long are you tied into your present contracts?

When you mention meters in each room, why would that help YOU, if you are paying the bills anyway? Are your rooms bedsits with their own cooking facilities, or rooms in a property where kitchen and bathroom are shared?

Your energy performance certificate, when you get one, will tell you how you could make your properties more energy efficient, but that doesn't solve the problem of who pays the bills. It has to be the same people who use the energy!

Sportingdad
27-08-2008, 05:12 AM
Yes i remember as a student with "free heating" windows open but lovely warm house, but what we need now is (as a Landlord/Agent) a company that has meters that can be read / direct debit without going into the property.

jeffrey
27-08-2008, 09:33 AM
I think that there are already such metering systems. Certainly water meters can be installed externally, and this is probably so for gas/electric.

hmonovice
31-08-2008, 22:37 PM
Thanks very much for your advice.

Curretnly the house is not rented out at all. I am in the process of doing it up. There are outdated sub meters installed in each room which are coin operated. These would need to be updated or taken out all together.

The house also has no gas central heating so the previous owner used to have electric heaters in each room. I have three options.

1. Pay all bills and factor into rent(It appears this is unanimously a bad idea)
2. Pay some bills e.g for hot water and heating, and install sub meters in the rooms
3. Pay hardly any bills e.g. only water. This would mean stalling cheap to install but expensive to run wall mounted electric heaters. I have always been advised against these baecuase of the running costs but I get I could pass that on??

Your thoughts on 2 and 3 would be appreciated

Rodent1
31-08-2008, 23:06 PM
Other than submetering each room and putting the lounge on a token meter i cannot see any other way >>>>>>>????????

I allow:
Water £600 pa(fixed cost)
Council Tax £1200 pa(fixed cost)
Gas £1000pa
Electricity £1000pa
Plus "some" £800

Dont get involved in TV license, Internet or phones (altho more than happy for t to install if they wish ....have some 6 bed props with 4 sep connections/accs for bb.tv/phone)


which is £300 pcm

Then work this into rent .....which works out at around £50 per room per mth ....

To date this covers it with room to spare !!!

But not sure for how much longer?

I do not break down these figs for T just charge an all inclusive proce....which they very much prefer .........i am far from the cheapest in the area ...but T will pay extra to have a nice prop, lovely LL and no "sxxx" over bills with strangers

I only do this on shared houses where i let on room by room basis NOT when group on a single ast .............the messes i have had to sort out previously has given my a drawer full of T shirts on this .....would be interested to hear how anyone else "bills" Tenants in this situation ???

Also find that prospective T do not want to share bills or financial responsibility with 5 total strangers


The Rodent

mind the gap
31-08-2008, 23:08 PM
Have you consulted your energy provider to see what your options are?

As Jeffrey says, smart meters for each tenant probably exist already. They can't be that difficult to produce. Technologically simpler than yer average missile defence system or computer-aided brain surgery, surely?

On the other hand, those old-fashioned coin operated gas meters may well become desirable retro items if you wait long enough.

Rodent1
01-09-2008, 00:40 AM
All well and good .....but need to rewire to get each room on a seperate meter ...and how to stop an extension lead coming in from communal supply ???........to do this to lecky specs and regs would be cost prohibitive to install ..........compounded by some idiot (me) reading all the meters regularly and working out all the bills ...whilst staying inside the "resale of electricity legislation" .........i think not!!!!!!!

If pushed i will box boiler and timer control into a cupboard and do 2 hrs ch am and 4 hrs pm ....eg(etc) ......which will control the gas bills massively !!

but will result in portable fan heaters being left on timers ....a big fire risk IMHO...

As i pay the bills i have energy saving bulbs installed already .......but dont see what else can be done to "limit/motivate" the use of electricity ....

On last round of ast's i put "rent" up by £20 per room pcm to cover voids/waste/stupidity....


The Rodent

ah84
01-09-2008, 07:33 AM
I just had to put a fire alarm in an HMO so whilst doing it decided to rewire as wiring was fairly old and it may have been hard to get elecrical safety cert which I needed.

I am using the opportunity to put a seperate 6mm cable to supply the ring main in each bedsit. The 6mm cable goes to a £1 coin meter and from there it goes to 2x 2.5mm cable for the ring main. That means the lighting circuit is still free , but to include that on the meter would entail a seperate fuse box in each room. Anyway I won't tell the tenants that there lighting is free!!

Rodent makes a valid point about someone using communual supply. The property is near me so I will keep my eye open.

As for turning on heat for 2 hrs in the morning would that not fall foul of HMO regs as councils want tenants to have heat all the time or are they happy for tenants to use fan heaters?

mind the gap
01-09-2008, 18:58 PM
As i pay the bills i have energy saving bulbs installed already .......but dont see what else can be done to "limit/motivate" the use of electricity ....The Rodent

Install up a two-way telescreen in each room like in Orwell's '1984'. Then you can spy on how much they are using electrical items AND play them continuous frightening films about carbon dioxide emissions, global warming etc.

Rodent1
01-09-2008, 19:08 PM
Have you consulted your energy provider to see what your options are?

As Jeffrey says, smart meters for each tenant probably exist already. They can't be that difficult to produce. Technologically simpler than yer average missile defence system or computer-aided brain surgery, surely?

On the other hand, those old-fashioned coin operated gas meters may well become desirable retro items if you wait long enough.

Meters are very easy to come by £12+vat each which is neglibible ....but to get them to record the desired consumption on each meter entails a very expensive rewire (with certs)...all in all not a satisfactory way to go on ..unless rewire planned as a matter of course

and not to mention regular reads and billing ...

Guess it just comes with the territory .....

The only other option i can see is to stipulate a capped amount of usage to be covered in the "Inclusive price" ...which again will lead to people arguing that x uses more then y etc
And if you go this route ....you have the problem that LL is responsible for communal areas ....

On bedsits it is prob worth a rewire but on a 6 (room)let house ...only if rewire due would i entertain doing meter/room...

The Rodent

Rodent1
01-09-2008, 19:11 PM
Install up a two-way telescreen in each room like in Orwell's '1984'. Then you can spy on how much they are using electrical items AND play them continuous frightening films about carbon dioxide emissions, global warming etc.


And charge subscription fees to members for watching the late night action ..............!!!!!!!!!!

The Rodent

mind the gap
01-09-2008, 23:08 PM
And charge subscription fees to members for watching the late night action ..............!!!!!!!!!!The Rodent
That would be a terrible infringement of their civil liberties! And pretty dull, probably.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, when all's said and done.

Telometer
02-09-2008, 08:51 AM
A small anecdote. A friend of mine lived whilst a student in a room with an electric coin meter. One night, doing an essay, short of coins to top up the electric meter, he undid the padlock, took out £5 worth of coins and put in a £5 note.

The expression on the face of the man who came to collect the money was apparently priceless, but as the money was correct he said nothing!

jeffrey
02-09-2008, 09:02 AM
Good. At least some people are honest. I sometimes wonder at how few.

mind the gap
02-09-2008, 14:23 PM
Good. At least some people are honest. I sometimes wonder at how few.

In our village, if you run out of milk, out of shop hours, you can go into the farmer's lean-to, extract howver many bottles from fridge and put money in honesty box. He's never lost money on it yet.

Markonee1
02-09-2008, 23:05 PM
It was a case back in the 80's if not still, that if you as a LL install your own meters beyond the existing meter [how else for goodness sake] then the elec board could charge the LL meter rent for each extra meter if they foundout about them!!!:eek:
One of the several reasons that my father sold up his property empire.