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pasta
22-04-2005, 12:22 PM
hello. I seem to remember being informed that, by law, a landlord must allow tenants access to their electricity and gas meters. does anyone know if this is true and if possible could they point me towards the releavant legislation?

for background, this is my problem: we have recieved extortionate gas and electricity bills based on an estimates, therefore I need to take a reading to check the bills. However, the meters are in a part of the building that we cannot access. In fact I don't know where they are. I have asked several times over the last month for the letting agents to either provide me with access to the meters so I can read them myself or for them to take a reading but they ignore me. I now have two large red utility bills. The bills are in my name :|

dazalock
22-04-2005, 12:46 PM
Hi

You might want to look at the thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=293

pasta
22-04-2005, 13:04 PM
thanks, but that's not the same issue, is it?
we pay all the utility bills ourselves, it is not being resold to us, the letting agents are obstructing access to the meters and I want to know whether they are allowed to do this.

dazalock
22-04-2005, 14:30 PM
there may be a issue with getting access in terms of getting a key from a management agent or something. What is your concern, do you feel the bill does not reflect the meter reading, if so you could ask the electricity company to take a formal reading.

pasta
22-04-2005, 15:01 PM
there are 10 flats in the building and I don't know where the meters are - definitely not in any part of the building that we can access. Therefore, when the utility people come round to read the meters, they knock on our door for the meter and we can't give them access to them.
I have two extortionate red bills based on estimated readings and I want to read the meter as I suspect they may not be correct. The letting agents are ignoring my requests for them to take a reading or to provide access to the meters. they don't even tell me where they are despite repeated requests. I would like to be able to tell them that I, as the bill payer and named on the gas and electricity account, have a right to access them, but I just don't know.

dazalock
22-04-2005, 15:05 PM
Who manages the block, you may well have a local company who manages the common areas. Have a look at the notice boards and see if you can find a company name on any fire notices and the like. You could then contact them direct and ask for access to the meters.

pasta
22-04-2005, 15:38 PM
the letting agents :(

dazalock
22-04-2005, 15:55 PM
Oh dear, OK, this is what I would do, not saying its right but anyway:

1. Ring them and ask them to make a appointment to meet you at the property to take a meter reading. Obtain a date and a name of the person you are to meet.

2. If they refuse or fail to turn up, check to see if they are members of a registered association like the NAEA/ARLA/RICS and tell the agents you will make a formal complaint against them if they persist in denying you access to the meter.

3. Be strong and dont let them fob you off, you are the consumer and have evry right to check consumption. It all probably down to inefficiency on thier part rather than anything else.

dazalock
22-04-2005, 16:02 PM
Actually, thinking about it, I would approach them in thier capacity as the management agents of the block and thier responsibilty to all residents. Not sure who regulates management companies though.

pasta
22-04-2005, 16:08 PM
thanks, that sounds like sensible advice

oaktree
22-04-2005, 16:29 PM
I'm sure the supplier themselves will be able to tell you where the meters are situated; the meter number will appear on the bill somewhere so you can check the right meter.

If not try MPAS on 0845 603 0618, they may be able to help, they are the electricity worlds version of Transco

red40
22-04-2005, 18:56 PM
I haven't got my gas regs to hand, but I think it is regulation 9. It is mainly talking about new installations but it does include exisiting supply's. As a tenant you should either have direct access to the main primary meter emergency control valve at the point of entry into the property, i.e you have immediate access to isolate the gas in the event of an emergency and if the landlord wishes to keep the room locked where the main services are, each flat should have an secondary emergency control valve at the point of entry in each flat..................its either or, and that is the basis of the regulations, but I will check for definate sometime over the weekend when I have time.

LongsufferingLeaseholder
23-03-2013, 12:00 PM
I haven't got my gas regs to hand, but I think it is regulation 9. It is mainly talking about new installations but it does include exisiting supply's. As a tenant you should either have direct access to the main primary meter emergency control valve at the point of entry into the property, i.e you have immediate access to isolate the gas in the event of an emergency and if the landlord wishes to keep the room locked where the main services are, each flat should have an secondary emergency control valve at the point of entry in each flat..................its either or, and that is the basis of the regulations, but I will check for definate sometime over the weekend when I have time.

Having had the issue for a long time now of a resident's management company who has denied me access to my gas meter and electricity meter and my primary gas isolation handle for the last 10+ years I am surprised that nobody who frequents this forum seems to actually be properly familiar with the law in this area.

Specifically

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

See See www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1994/1886/regulation/13/made and http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/2451/part/C/made

Section 13 of these regulations has this to say:-


Meter housings13.—

(3) No person shall install a meter in a meter box provided with a lock, unless the consumer has been provided with a suitably labelled key to that lock.

(4) No person shall install a meter within a meter compound which is capable of being secured unless the consumer has been provided with a suitably labelled key for that compound.

For those living in flats converted somewhat earlier than this then the first edition of these safety regulations implemented in 1984 as the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1984 may still give you the right to access as follows:-


Meter Boxes

12. (3) No person shall install a meter in a meter box provided with a lock, unless the consumer has been provided with a key to the lock clearly labelled "Gas Meter Box" in black capital leters on a yellow ground.

See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1984/1358/pdfs/uksi_19841358_en.pdf

All of this was pointed out to me by the people at the Gas Safe Register Helpline on 0800 408 5577. They will provide explanations on al technical aspects of gas safety covered by the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure - Edition 6 as found at www.gassaferegister.co.uk/pdf/GIUSP%20Edition%206%20-%20publication%20web%20version%20V1%201.pdf

I am told by the Gas Safe Register people that if your landlord will not provide you with a key granting you 24/7 access to your gas meter and gas isolation handle that this matter can be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. However the danger is that the HSE is likely to condemn the continued use of your gas supply until the danger of not being able to access and control your own regulator has been eliminated.

Of course in this case the danger ought to be able to be eliminated by the supply of a key but were you to meet a very obstinate landlord then you might end up having to physically relocate the meter in to your flat and who picks up the cost on that could depend on what it says in your lease about such responsibilities. So I would be careful about running off to the HSE but use the existence of these reglations to pressurise your landlord/resident's management company to give you access to the box or compound (aka room) in which the meter is located.

For those with flats converted before 1984 the fact that the current regulations can be complied with by the simple act of providing a key still lets you put strong moral pressure on your landlord to give you a key on the basis that if a gas accident happens that could have been stopped if you have been able to access your own gas meter isolation handle then the landlord may be considered to be negligent.