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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:26 am 
retrobike rider
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you dont have to be both to answer this question, but i need input from all on this.

our tenant has finally moved out (long story - see here: http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=219310&highlight=tenant )

and i'd be jumping for joy, if not for the following problem (one of many little problems, but this one stands out most)

we went in to check the property last night and discovered the tenant had a pre-payment electricity meter installed.
we were completely unaware of this. i understand that the tenant has the right to choose their own supplier etc etc, but it is a physical change to the property and would require notifying the landlord/property owner of this would it not as there is potential for damage to be caused.
i know its illegal to deny tenants to change supplier - however that's not my argument.

i've done a small amount of research into this and we may or may not be charged to change this back to a credit meter (monthly direct debit tariff).

i dont want it, so it will need changing. however, my questions are:

1: since no notice of this was given, can i claim any charges (should there be) when we come to change it back?

2: it seems the old isolator switch (the one that turns all electricity off) has gone and has the prepayment meter in its place (we still have a fuse box, just no 'master switch' that kills all the electric). its an old building, so it was pretty dated anyway, but it means i have no way of cutting off the electric it seems other than removing the fuses (which look old and delicate!)....


this is just another thorn in our side that's made the whole experience of renting rather disgusting.
hope someone has some clearer answers than what the interweb has been providing...

meh.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:48 am 
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IIRC the electricity board can sometimes insist on a prepayment meter for someone who is not creditworthy.

Frankly, if they are the sort who wanted a prepayment meter your chances of getting money off them are slight.

Deep breath and move on I think!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:14 pm 
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I remember reading your post at the time. At least its good to hear you've finally got her out!

I would have thought that its the energy suppliers responsibility to check on who the home owner is before fitting a pre-payment meter. Unless of course she told them she was the home owner, anything is possible!
I'm sure you could insist the the energy company remove it FOC, because as the home owner, you never asked for it to be fitted, and they should return it to the state it was in before removal.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Did your letting/management agent have a duty of inspection? If so take it up with them - they should have noticed.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:43 pm 
retrobike rider
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Bullpup wrote:
Did your letting/management agent have a duty of inspection? If so take it up with them - they should have noticed.


probably, the lettings agent are responsible for 70% of the problems caused with our tenant.

called our previous supplier when we lived in the flat before renting it out, they said a charge is likely in order to change the payment meter back.

seems fecking cheeky as i bet she didnt have to pay for the meter to be installed - most likely because she is a financial risk, but we move back in, have a credit rating (and have held an account with credit before) but are charged for having it put back the way it was!

i ain't paying for it if there is a chance i don't have to.
its just another bit of shit tossed into the eye of the honest from the shoe of the bastard fleeing the scene! i'm sure this is how civil wars begin...!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:13 pm 
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There is a good thing to this

if you have tenants and they are on occasion the type you can't wait for them to move out then at least they are not leaving a bill behind and months of you trying to prove to a debt collection agency that you are not the person or responsible (and all the fun that comes with that)

If your letting it out again then I would leave the prepay in...If your moving into it I would fight for free removal although I think they will go down the line as the landlord you should have known and that is not their fault.

Crap I know but normally if you have the patience and time you should be able to get it done for free...use the sympathy about how bad the tenant was, the struggles you have and they might have a sympathetic ear


Last edited by sylus on Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:17 pm 
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twain wrote:
Bullpup wrote:
Did your letting/management agent have a duty of inspection? If so take it up with them - they should have noticed.


probably, the lettings agent are responsible for 70% of the problems caused with our tenant.

called our previous supplier when we lived in the flat before renting it out, they said a charge is likely in order to change the payment meter back.

seems fecking cheeky as i bet she didnt have to pay for the meter to be installed - most likely because she is a financial risk, but we move back in, have a credit rating (and have held an account with credit before) but are charged for having it put back the way it was!

i ain't paying for it if there is a chance i don't have to.
its just another bit of shit tossed into the eye of the honest from the shoe of the bastard fleeing the scene! i'm sure this is how civil wars begin...!


Check your agreement with them then suggest that you are considering reporting them to the RICS...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:24 pm 
retrobike rider
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sylus wrote:
There is a good thing to this

if you have tenants and they are on occasion the type you can't wait for them to move out then at least they are not leaving a bill behind and months of you trying to prove to a debt collection agency that you are not the person or responsible (and all the fun that comes with that)

If your letting it out again then I would leave the prepay in...If your moving into it I would fight for free removal although I think they will go down the line as the landlord you should have known and that is not their fault.

Crap I know but normally if you have the patience and time you should be able to get it down for free...use the sympathy about how bad the tenant was, the struggles you have and they might have a sympathetic ear



i do plan on trying, although the lady i spoke to from our previous supplier was pretty helpful and suggested that moving in and keeping the prepay machine for a while then changing later on may help waive the fee (they already supply the gas and she said that they will look at previous accounts held with them by us - part of their own credit check i guess) and if it all looks good (which it should as i never missed a payment) then it should work in our favour.
i think for peace of mind, we'll probably stick with the prepayment machine for now and just grin and bear it (our heating and hob is all gas - just oven and lights etc are electric) so guess it could be workable for a bit.
there can be debt on the electricity account even though there is a prepayment machine - it could have been the reason it was installed, so i still need to check that there is no debt against the property for all utilities as well as electric.

we will never be renting again (at least not anytime in the near future) unless someone gives it all to me on a plate and i just scrape the cream off the top. but i guess i'd be a letting agent then, in which case i'd probably have to throw myself off a cliff.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:42 pm 
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It will say on the display on the meter if there is debt on it.

Sounds like you have had a torrid time with all this. Hopefully the tenant secured long term accommodation, and you are in touch with them in case you need to sort anything out.

The thing that went wrong here was the agency you used.

Lots of these are dodgy, and don't do their checks properly.

You presumably have the bond that the agency held to cover the expenses?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:59 pm 
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if by bond you mean deposit, then that's held by a third party government body. our expenses are the court orders/eviction notice which are coming out of that, there are some things missing from the flat (shelves randomly enough) and damage from furniture removal.
to be honest, there is a part of me that feels for the tenant, she has 2 children and as far as i know is now being put into a hostel by the council while they find her accommodation. she was a good tenant up until this turn of events that meant she stayed beyond the notice we sent - i met her on a couple of occasions and she was nice enough too (a considerable improvement on our previous tenant).

i agree the biggest bone on contention we have is with the local lettings office, shocking really. since the head office got involved, things actually happened and we seemed to be listened to.

if moving into property wasn't hassle enough, all these little other jobs aren't helping the transition. have become seriously worn down living with the mother-in-law and her more than annoying boyfriend. not the same man i used to be - will take a while to get back to the good ol' me! have become short tempered and less patient with the world/other people.

all in all another year i can chalk up to experience and we have done what we set out to do.

all i need is for Christmas to be cancelled and i'll be a happy man! :P


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