A challenger utilities provider has claimed that HMO landlords can solve their tenants’ mounting bill payment challenges by using tech.

Glide, which has a fast-spreading network of its own broadband cables around the UK but also offers bundled utility deals to homeowners and tenants, says landlords of HMO properties should consider installing smart meters and offering their tenants utility usage tracking.

This follows official data that shows average annual household bills were £760 in 2021 compared to £450 in 2020, a 36% increase, and warnings that tenants in all-inclusive HMOs face particularly challenging times because they are not eligible for the recently-announced £400 energy payment.

The government has subsequently warned landlords not to pass on energy increases to them unfairly.
Glide boss Sean Lowry says these landlords should consider either installing smart meters or offering tech that tracks utility usage within a property.

“When offering an all-inclusive rental package to tenants, it is vital that landlords have a perspective of the monthly utility usage of their HMO occupants,” he says.

“Managing the utility bills will ensure that the utilities are paid in full and in due time. Having oversight of the utility record of tenants allows landlords to set a ‘fair usage cap’ on supplied energy and consequently reclaim the cost of over usage.”

“The simplification of billing can be mutually beneficial for both landlords and tenants alike, with tenants receiving the best possible deal and landlords being assured that tenants can pay accordingly.

Budgeting

“In addition, with a fixed monthly amount for all bills, it offers tenants and landlords the ability to budget.

“A landlord cannot simply hold one ‘manager’ responsible to gather all payments or pay the shortfall out of their own pocket.

“Splitting the bills into equal parts and keeping each tenant responsible for their own portion will ensure that tenants are happy and that bills get paid on time.”

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