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talby
15-02-2008, 14:11 PM
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

Paul_f
15-02-2008, 15:17 PM
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

Esio Trot
15-02-2008, 16:12 PM
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.

johnboy
15-02-2008, 18:24 PM
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

Paul_f
15-02-2008, 21:33 PM
..............or even different

pete's properties
16-02-2008, 07:39 AM
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!

:)

talby
16-02-2008, 11:04 AM
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

Ericthelobster
16-02-2008, 12:18 PM
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.

johnjw
16-02-2008, 16:25 PM
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.

johnboy
16-02-2008, 17:30 PM
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

pete's properties
19-02-2008, 07:36 AM
.....

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

Colincbayley
19-02-2008, 08:07 AM
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.

pete's properties
20-02-2008, 07:39 AM
thanks, Colincbayley, that's good to hear

Esio Trot
20-02-2008, 14:26 PM
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!

jackboy
20-02-2008, 22:31 PM
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

pete's properties
21-02-2008, 07:29 AM
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.....

wowee! That's £125 @ £25 per hour if my agent does this!

sheeesh I'm in the wrong business. Anyone want a house-sitter? :D

Esio Trot
21-02-2008, 10:40 AM
wowee! That's £125 @ £25 per hour if my agent does this!

sheeesh I'm in the wrong business. Anyone want a house-sitter? :D

Believe it or not, the above charge is likely to be less than it actually costs teh agency.

There are not just the direct costs of the employee (plus the on-costs of pension, employers tax, payroll, vehicle etc) there is also the indirect costs of not doing normal office work while absent and the desk space. i.e. If the annual cost of his/her space in the office - rent/rates/utilities and other things like computers and software are divided into a 4-person office, the hourly rate should be nearer £40.

caroline7758
21-02-2008, 15:08 PM
It might be worth asking the tenenat whether they realise that they will pay more for their gas/electricity on a meter than any other way of paying.If they want to budget, they could just set up a monthly direct debit (assuming they've got a bank account) and this would save them money.

pete's properties
22-02-2008, 08:11 AM
Believe it or not, the above charge is likely to be less than it actually costs teh agency.

There are not just the direct costs of the employee (plus the on-costs of pension, employers tax, payroll, vehicle etc) there is also the indirect costs of not doing normal office work while absent and the desk space. i.e. If the annual cost of his/her space in the office - rent/rates/utilities and other things like computers and software are divided into a 4-person office, the hourly rate should be nearer £40.

Fair point! I also heard it costs employers double the minimum wage to employ someone, once you add on tax, payroll etc.

But I still want to be a house-sitter ......:(

stator
13-03-2008, 08:30 AM
Under section 209A of the Water Industry Act 1999 you cannot restrict the tenant from having a water meter installed unless the tenancy is less than 6 months.

If the property does not have it's own water supply entry point (eg house converted to flats), then it is likely they will not be able to install a water meter and the water company will only then be required to offer the tenant a new charing scheme based on the number of occupants of the house rather than the rental value.

jeffrey
13-03-2008, 10:12 AM
Under section 209A of the Water Industry Act 1999 you cannot restrict the tenant from having a water meter installed unless the tenancy is less than 6 months.

If the property does not have it's own water supply entry point (eg house converted to flats), then it is likely they will not be able to install a water meter and the water company will only then be required to offer the tenant a new charing scheme based on the number of occupants of the house rather than the rental value.
Not quite.
There is no s.209A in the Water Industry Act 1999. However, its s.11 added a new s.209A to the Water Industry Act 1991. This is the provision barring any Agreement term that excludes/restricts T from having a water meter.
However, s.209A does NOT apply to a fixed-term (non-periodic) tenancy for less than six months.