HMO’s and Heat Networks Legislation???

by Readers Question

10:20 AM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

HMO’s and Heat Networks Legislation???

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HMO’s and Heat Networks Legislation???

Has anyone got a clue what “Heat Networks Legislation” is all about? Heat Networks legislation

I read an article and links yesterday having never heard about it before, although it appears it was due to have been in force from this month – now delayed until December.

It mentions magic words like HMO which involves me – and is about supplying energy to your tenants.

I am only guessing that I am not the supplier, as although my bills are ‘inclusive’, I don’t charge a specific/ring-fenced amount.

Reading the information supplied it seems that I may be brought into this – my heart is sinking at the prospects of having yet another hoop to jump through.

Any explanation in plain English would be great.

Thanks in advance

Elizabeth (Harlequin Garden)



Comments

Robert Mellors

11:53 AM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

I also read an article about it yesterday, and like yourself I struggled to make any sense of it.

From what I could see, ALL landlords who provide heating/lighting etc as part of an "inclusive" rent are now going to be classed as energy suppliers (I wonder how long before we have to register with Ofgem???). This would mainly affect HMOs, BUT in some circumstances it could affect other landlords where any aspect of energy is provided as part of the rent.

Landlords who are then classed as energy suppliers may have to carry out various assessments to determine how much energy each resident uses personally, and then somehow just bill them for their own personal use, NOT a share of the overall use within the property, and presumably not a share of the energy used in communal areas, or even the standing charges. - How the hell landlords are expected to do this is beyond me, and if it does become a requirement then I guess each HMO landlord will have to put their rents up massively to cover the increased cost of specialist equipment to monitor all this, and the admin costs for the multiple different billing (and of course dealing with disputes and non-payment issues!!!!!!).

If this comes into effect, and is enforced, then I guess tens of thousands of landlords will be moving out of the HMO market (generating a massive homelessness problem), AND/OR rents in HMO properties will surge higher and higher and could even end up being more that 1 bed self-contained flats (where such issues do not arise).

Mandy Thomson

13:19 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

It reads to me as though even lodger landlords will be caught by this.

Robert Mellors

15:09 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "27/04/2015 - 13:19":

Yes. Lodgers pay an inclusive rent, they don't contract with British Gas/E.on/N-Power etc to supply just their room, so yes, I agree, it does sound like even a landlord that rents out a room in their own home to a lodger, will by default be classed as an energy supplier, and will thus be liable under these new laws. At least I did not read anything which excludes lodger landlords from this legislation.

Romain Garcin

15:46 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

This will apply if heating and hot water is NOT included in the rent but charged separately. Heating must also come from a communal source, e.g. a boiler serving radiators in individual rooms.

If that's the case, landlords will have to install hot water meters, and thermostatic valves and "heat cost allocators" on each radiator.
A "heat cost allocator" is a device that calculates the heat 'consumed' based on the radiator's and room's temperature (and type of radiator, I suppose).

This is really about supply of heat and hot water (and cooling but I guess that's rare in the UK...) so electric radiators are not covered as what is supplied is just electricity.

The other option is to include everything in the rent.

Jay James

15:49 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Here is my considered and learned opinion: bunkum and balderdash!

It's yet another imposition on landlords and perhaps even residential landlords.

Ian Narbeth

16:34 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

More red tape. And if Labour get in I expect landlords will get fined huge amounts and won't be able to serve s21 notices if the assessment hasn't been done and paperwork filed with the National Measurement & Regulation Office or if any heat cost allocator is not working (even if the tenant has smashed/nicked/disabled it)!

I have heard that this is unlikely to affect individual HMOs because it will not be "viable" to put allocators in. However, our over-zealous civil servants won't make it plain that a landlord of a single house with 5 or 6 people in it doesn't need to bother. Instead everyone has to do the assessment, keep records and produce evidence of compliance to the authorities.

Robert Mellors

18:05 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Does anyone know what these "heat cost allocaters" are? where you get them from? and how much they cost?

Romain Garcin

18:15 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Robert Mellors" at "27/04/2015 - 18:05":

Well, as said there are an electronic device that measures and records how much heat is dissipated by a radiator (I suppose that it means that they must be fitted in contact with the radiator).

If you google the term, a few pictures show up.

Robert Mellors

19:05 PM, 27th April 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain Garcin" at "27/04/2015 - 18:15":

Hi Romain,

I've just had a look at the ones done by Ista, and I have to say they are laughable, I think they are living on a different planet to me, because they have perfect tenants who want to measure and lower their consumption, whereas I have many HMO tenants who could not care less and would smash these devices within the first week as they have no intention of paying their bills anyway!!!! That is why I charge a set weekly amount and have to get it deducted from their benefits at source! - I know everyone will just say "get better tenants" but things are not that simple, and tenants are not always so obliging as the ones on the Ista website. There is no way this could work in my transient DSS/LHA tenanted HMOs, though I can imagine it might work to some extent with long-term professional tenants.

Harlequin Garden

13:58 PM, 30th April 2015
About 3 years ago

This is the response I've received - I really wish I'd never asked - my question being that I have HMO's - and yes they are on separate contracts so yes, I am included in this nonsense. What idiot thought this latest hoop up? What's a network?

Thanks for your enquiry.

From your brief description, we would only deem this in scope of the regulations if each tenant:

a) Is on a separate tenancy agreement, i.e. multiple final customers;

b) Rents a partitioned space that could be reasonably classed as a dwelling.

If both of the conditions above are met then we would require a notification for each property on the network by 31st December 2015. There is a multiple networks notification form available on our website which allows you to fill in the details for each network you operate on one form.

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