Heating cost control in HMO’s

Heating cost control in HMO’s

19:00 PM, 14th May 2014, About 10 years ago 175

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I would greatly welcome the advice of other members on how to effectively manage heating costs. I have 2 HMO properties and rents include; water, gas, electric and broadband. Heating cost control in HMO's

Over the past 12 months the electric and gas bills seem to have rocketed. I have checked and the tenants are not growing weed but I suspect that they are keeping the heating on 24/7 and opening a window when it gets too hot.

I know there are products for this out there but don’t have experience of how they work.

Are there tried and tested ways of controlling a reasonable temperature and locking down the thermostat or being able to monitor it remotely?


Mark Hartell


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Ian Ringrose

9:48 AM, 28th May 2014, About 10 years ago


Where do you put the main thermostat?

Is 17c not a bit low, or are the letting rooms warming then that?


9:53 AM, 28th May 2014, About 10 years ago

I know I wouldn't get away with 17! I think it's more in the realms of 20/22

john kelly

12:40 PM, 28th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Yes i hear what your saying but the house is fully insulated and double glazed....sounds a bit silly but the stat yesterday said 17.5c but it actually felt ok in the house not cold at all, it does not feel justified to put the heating on and no one has complained.

13:24 PM, 28th May 2014, About 10 years ago


That's a cracking post you contributed about how you manage heating costs.

I once had a female tenant who put the heating on full 24 hours a day and walked around in her underwear, regardless of who was in the house!

People "feel" the cold in different ways. Some people are always freezing, others are too hot.

The best way to manage that is through having a lower temperature and wearing appropriate clothing. Some people would rather put up the heating than put on another layer.

Glad to understand how you addressed this thorny issue. 🙂

This summer we might encounter the opposite problem!!

It is predicted that, this summer, there will be 100 days over 80 degrees. A massive heat wave is coming. (Hard to believe, I know).

Do you think landlords will have to supply temporary air conditioners/coolers to tenants?!

john kelly

14:22 PM, 28th May 2014, About 10 years ago

Thank you Vanessa. My attitude is i have cut the C/H at my own home (we live in the south) and we are going through that winter/summer period where occasionally you need the heating on. on those nights i wear a track suit or extra jumper, therefore tenants can as well. They are not going to freeze or are they being left in an acceptably cold house. As i say i govern it by level of complaints and so far had none. Your right about the summer heat.....fans and air con machines are strictly banned in our properties and my cleaner inspects all rooms every two weeks.

Industry Observer

13:48 PM, 2nd June 2014, About 10 years ago


You surely don't believe the weather people do you - they can't tell what's going to happen in 6 hours half the time!!

I have had an identical query from a client this morning. Don't have time to read all the posts now but has anyone posted on the legality of limiting thre heating control to say only on for 2 hours twice a day?

Ludicrous I know but what is the LAW that says a landlord cannot do this (such as breach of quiet enjoyment under PFEA 1977 and/or harassment under Harassment Act 1997) as opposed to it just not sounding right?


14:11 PM, 2nd June 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/06/2014 - 13:48":

My HMO council inspector said it was fine - as long as they have access to alternative heating - which mine do - they can put on an electric heater, I have the electricity on a key meter, I pay an amount a month and if they go over they top up - or put on a jumper, this means they are free to put lights on in the garden or however else they wish to waste power. I certainly couldn't be doing with checking their rooms every 2 weeks, I'm not sure that's 'legal' and my tenants wouldn't put up with that, a real invasion.

Industry Observer

14:51 PM, 2nd June 2014, About 10 years ago

@ Steve Masters

"I have just fitted the Landlord version of Inspire Home Automation room thermostat to control the temperature in one of my HMO houses. I have locked the menu and set the temperature to 21C. I can now control and monitor the central heating from my PC and even via a phone app! It remains to seen if it actually reduces the fuel bills."

OK what you do in your own home, or linked to it while on holiday, is fine.

But what of where the unit is fitted in someone else's home? Can it really be legal for you to sit at home and control the temperature in someone else's home? If that ain't harassment I don't know what is.

What if a tenant - or baby or elderly visitor - falls ill and needs extra warmth?

I ask again what is the LEGAL position on controlling a tenant's heating temperature (as opposed to a clause saying they must operate 15C minimum?

Romain - where are you when I need you?!!! What is the LEGAL position on all this?


14:58 PM, 2nd June 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Industry Observer " at "02/06/2014 - 14:51":

... again, my inspector said that there is no legal limit for heat in residential properties and as long as they have access to another source of heating you can time it - you can't ban heaters - please don't tell me that you would or even could.

Ian Ringrose

15:19 PM, 2nd June 2014, About 10 years ago

Having a thermostat set to 21c in a hallway, tells you NOTHING about the temperature in a room with a well fitting auto closing fire door!

If the tenants want a lot more heat, they just need to turn off the radiator in the hallway.

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