HMO’s and Heat Networks Legislation???

by Readers Question

10:20 AM, 27th April 2015
About 5 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)


Harlequin Garden

10:34 AM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

From the lack of responses on this I guess you are all as much in the dark as I am in terms of why they think this information is necessary and how on earth we are supposed to provide it - and what will be achieved. My next question to them will be 'what do I have to do to NOT be caught up in this process' - it maybe sell up, I gets lots of letters each month to buy my HMO's maybe the time is right.

Robert Mellors

11:27 AM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

I can't see many HMO landlords complying with this, particularly as most have never even heard of it, so there will no doubt be tens of thousands of landlords who will in effect all be criminalised once the legislation comes into effect. - Wow, that is really going to give the Councils and law enforcement services a lot of work to do, at a time when their funding has already been slashed and is due to be slashed by another £8 billion if the Tories get in again. Mmmm... I wonder how the court system will cope with these extra 10,000 - 50,000 court cases.........

I presume all the politicians that have property investments will be the first in court so as to set an example to the rest of the country's landlords......?

Harlequin Garden

11:58 AM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

But those that are already registered - with heads above the parapet are sitting ducks - those not registered of course will carry on and carry on complying with nothing and no comeback. If there are only a few that register there will be only a few to check, so they'll just carry on tormenting the law abiding.

Does anyone understand what we actually have to do? install meters in rooms? thermometers and timers in rooms - You would have thought that the LCs would contact all those on their HMO list with detailed instructions - or is that just too obvious. I'm surprised some enterprising person hasn't jumped on the bandwagon to do this for us as with the silly sellers packs and EPCs that mean absolutely nothing.

Robert Mellors

12:29 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Harlequin Garden" at "03/05/2015 - 11:58":

As far as I can tell, (and it is as clear as mud), every HMO landlord will have to get a feasibility assessment done to determine whether it is possible to measure the heat/power usage in each resident's room, and then install the heat/power allocators (monitoring equipment) in each room so as to determine how much heat and power the individual resident is using, and then bill them for this heat/power usage at the same rate as is charged to the landlord by the utility supplier.

However, there appears to be no account taken of:
the cost of the assessments, or
installing the monitoring equipment, or
the administration (billing) costs, or
the maintenance and repair of equipment, or
the cost of heat/power to communal areas, or
the failure of residents to pay for the heat/power, or
the admin cost of chasing the payments/debts, or
legal costs of chasing the debt.

Presumably, the landlord is liable for all of the above costs, and will have to increase the rents charged to all residents (even those who choose to use little or no heat/power) in order to cover all those extra costs.

This will then push up the rents in all HMOs, and will increase the amount of Housing Benefit that the government (taxpayers) has to pay out, while at the same time reducing the stock of HMO properties available (as HMO landlords decide to get out of this nightmare of red tape). The law of supply and demand will also kick in and force rents up even higher.

This legislation will also increase the number of possession and debt cases due to residents not paying the utility bills (as they would be billed for their usage after they've already used the heat/power so will not have budgeted enough for this, or will try to escape paying it by moving elsewhere). This will cause more void periods for the landlord, so higher costs, meaning higher rents. The increased possession and debt cases will in turn result in more people presenting as homeless to the councils, who then have to pay out a lot more in dealing with these homeless cases, so there will be even more cost to the government/taxpayers.

I don't know which idiot in the EU thought up this idea, but they really didn't think it through very well at all.

Neil Robb

19:31 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago


I know this might sound stupid so please don't laugh and it may be cost prohibitive.

Can you not get gas meters and electric meters installed in each room Then register the tenant with the utility company taking the landlord out of the equation.

Then it is between the utility company and the tenant I bet they would then use less power. I saw an HMO where a landlord did this with prepayment electric meters.

Harlequin Garden

19:40 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

It's not as stupid as this new legislation, that's for sure.

My first thoughts are to take my bog standard shared house off my meters onto prepayment ones and reduce the rent so they are in charge of it themselves, which is one out of the equation and yes, no doubt they will use less so Mr Eu will be happy. My manager suggested putting in electric heaters with the self contained ones but good idea, though our current supply would have to be upgraded to have all these electric heaters working at the same time (and put card meters in that they then pay) - gas is useless as each unit would need a gas boiler and of course we still have the 'common parts' to fit into this puzzle. Last option is to sell up or keep low and say nothing, except the LCs have my details. Final thought is - what's the date? is it April the 1st?

Neil Robb

21:49 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

I don't think they allow prepayment meters if there is a hard wired fire alarm system installed in an HMO

Robert Mellors

21:50 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Robb" at "03/05/2015 - 19:31":

To do this with electricity supplies you would need to put each room on their own electrical circuit so basically you would need to do a full re-wire of the whole property, and then install pre-payment sub-meters to each circuit. This has been discussed in a previous posting. The cost of doing this would be several thousands of pounds, just in the electrical work involved, not to mention the cost of the actual prepayment sub-meters. It also does not address the issue of the communal electricity supply, so residents would run extension cables from the communal supply so as to avoid paying for their own supply. As rooms in a HMO are all at the same address, you could not get the utility companies to bill the room residents separately, as it is one supply going into the house, so the landlord would remain liable to the utility company. Thus, the best you could do is use the pre-payment sub-meters so that each room resident has to pay up front for the electricity they use in their room (that they don't steal from the communal electrical circuit). - Not worth doing retrospectively, but may be worth considering if doing a full electrical re-wire anyway.

It cannot be done at all for a gas supply, as like Harlequin Gardens says, you would need separate gas pipelines to each room and separate boilers etc (and again it does not address the issue of the communal areas).

Harlequin Garden

21:53 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

so sell up it is then......

we had hardwired smoke alarms (didn't ask for a fire alarm system unless it was already in) but they made us put in remote controlled ones.

Neil Robb

21:58 PM, 3rd May 2015
About 5 years ago

I am sure I read there is a feasibility report can be done and if to expensive or prohibitive you may be exempt for the policy.

I read somewhere if it was in rent ,(so instead of being 85 per week rent would be 100 only if to much elec was being used then a top up charged) with a fair usage policy in the agreement Then this can be a way around it but I don't know if that would be acceptable.

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