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View Full Version : Do I need to pay for reinstalling gas and elec meters?



cahaya
14-10-2009, 10:10 AM
I have finally recovered my property from some terrible tenants. They didn't pay their last month's rent and left more damage than the deposit covers, so I'm taking them to the smalls claims court for the difference. Even if I get nothing out of it, at least the CCJ will warn off future landlords - I hope!

Without my knowledge these tenants had the gas and electricity meters changed to pre-pay. As I'm now moving into the property myself, I want to change them back to normal ones. However, my utilities company is charging me £150 each to do so. Obviously I don't want to pay this as I'm sure I won't get this money back. Am I really liable for this charge from the utilities company if I didn't authorise the initial switch? And are their any companies that don't make this charge?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

fthl
15-10-2009, 12:58 PM
it is often a deposit you pay against future bills and/or the cost of the work swapping out the kit.

You should be able to claim the costs back from the tenants. Was there not something about this in the TA?

cahaya
16-10-2009, 10:22 AM
Thanks for your reply. Yes the tenants broke the TA in changing the meters, and I will be pursuing them for costs on this (and lots of other things!) via the small claims court. But I have no expectation that even if the court finds in my favour, I'll get anything. Hence trying to find a way to not have to pay for changing the meters back again. But it looks like it's inevitable. Oh well!

Krispy
16-10-2009, 11:20 AM
Thanks for your reply. Yes the tenants broke the TA in changing the meters, and I will be pursuing them for costs on this (and lots of other things!) via the small claims court. But I have no expectation that even if the court finds in my favour, I'll get anything. Hence trying to find a way to not have to pay for changing the meters back again. But it looks like it's inevitable. Oh well!

They are not your meters, only the meter owner can change the meter, I cant imagine the meter owners need your permission to change them and its likely that your tenants had no choice in the matter either.

I recently had an electricity meter changed back it was free (EDF), (I think its free if the meter owner and your electricity supplier is the same).

John J
16-10-2009, 11:43 AM
A number of supply companies will change the meters free of charge, do a bit of research - I'm sure you'll find a suitable supplier.

John

mind the gap
16-10-2009, 11:46 AM
A number of supply companies will change the meters free of charge, do a bit of research - I'm sure you'll find a suitable supplier.

John

And/Or point out to the meter suppliers that since they did not have your permission to install them in your property in the first place (making the installation illegal, presumably?), the least they can do is swap them back for free.

cahaya
05-11-2009, 12:01 PM
Thanks for all the helpful replies. In the end we found a supplier who charged us a lot less to re-install the meters. And we'll pursue the tenants through the small claims court for this sum - adding it to all the other costs they've left us with!

Ericthelobster
05-11-2009, 12:08 PM
In the end we found a supplier who charged us a lot less to re-install the metersI don't understand how you couldn't find one who'd do it for free???

sjcollett
05-11-2009, 12:37 PM
you're lucky - my tenant nicked electricity from British gas and they landed me with a bill of £690 for an install. I have spent years fighting this and got nowhere. Not even the ombudsman will get involved. Consumer Direct tried and failed. Utility companies seem to be a law unto themselves.

I am even more concerned re: the water bill changes and how they are going to make landlords liable for tenants unpaid bills - this could be the start of even mroe bad things to follow :(

justaboutsane
05-11-2009, 17:50 PM
I second shopping around £150 each is steep. We are with Utility warehouse and they have quoted £60 to change our gas meter... If we had done it a few years ago it would have been free!!