Tenant arranged removal of night rate meter in flat with electric heating?

Tenant arranged removal of night rate meter in flat with electric heating?

9:36 AM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago 28

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Hello, Advice appreciated!

I have a flat that has no gas, and has electric storage heaters which were on night rate electricity.

The tenant left, and we found he had arranged for SSE to change the meter to one without the night rate facility.

This was without our permission, and when asked, the tenant said it was because he couldn’t get the storage heaters to work.

Setting aside that obviously we would have helped him with the heaters if he had let us know, we now have these issues:-

-We feel it would be unfair to let the flat to another tenant due to the higher cost of heating night-stores with day rate electricity.

-Are we likely to persuade SSE to re-instate a night rate?

-Where do landlords stand with regard to insisting that utility companies contact them regarding major changes like this?

-If SSE might charge for re-instating the meter, is it allowable to withhold this against the deposit, or does this not count as “damage”?

Thank you.

Wendy



Comments

David Judd

10:36 AM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

A landlord cannot unreasonably refuse this, however the tenant should have asked you and certainly put the meters back to how they were when they moved in

Mike

10:41 AM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

My guess would be that if your tenancy agreement had clearly stated in one of the clauses that tenant cannot change energy supplier or have pre-payment meters installed, then you may have a ground to deduct any cost that you may incur to have the economy 7 meters reinstalled.
Otherwise let the new tenant seek economy 7 meter from their chosen suppliers when they move in.

Gromit

10:46 AM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

Many electricity suppliers now offer an "Economy 7" type tarriff for the whole house. You have to have a smart meter (SMETS2) installed if there's not one already fitted.
It means that the immersion heater can take advantage of the cheaper overnight rate, and other electrical items can be timed to also take advantage e.g. tumble dryer, dishwasher.

Yvonne Francis

11:18 AM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

I've got 'Economy 7' from SSE and there is little difference in the rate. I presume if the meter is on a normal rate the night storers could be used during the day. Parts of my own house are heated with them and I consider them useless. I've turned them off and now use oil fired radiators. My bills are considerable less.

DSR

12:28 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

as usual naff all a LL can do. Tenant can change this with out without your permission but if in the contract it is said they can't without getting your prior consent then you can go down the breach route if you wish (you just got to work out if its worth it or not).

Otherwise take it as it is and let incoming tenant decide what they want to do about it (if they even bother)

There are limits to what the company will offer even if they agree to change it back. Some will do at no cost if within a 12 months period of when it was fitted, others wont.

If I were you, just leave for next tenant to deal with. In regard to costs for day and night hardly anything in it and new tenant will have choice of working out what is best for them anyway.

G T

12:32 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

Another potential issue you need to consider is the EPC impact of the change.
Believe night storage heaters utilising day rate are not as beneficial to your rating as the 'Economy 7'. Something you need to investigate.

JB

12:56 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

From my experience SSE is a total nightmare to deal with so you may be better switching supplier.

Seething Landlord

13:47 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

A term in the tenancy agreement purporting to restrict the tenant's right to choose his supplier and tariff is likely to be deemed "unfair" and therefore unenforceable. Getting the meter changed back is pointless, leave it to the next tenant to make his own choice - and make sure that the heaters are working and that the tenant has been given clear instructions on how to use them.

Doug Ellison

13:57 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

From my experience Octopus are the best Co to use for nightime electricity.I have battery storage which I top up at night which means virtually all of my electricity is charged at 7.5 pence per unit

John Allies

14:10 PM, 26th September 2022, About 2 months ago

The EPC comment is valid. A night storage heater on standard daytime tarriff is considered in the survey to be a panel heater and this will reduce the rating. It would be advisable to revert to dual tarriff before you have the next EPC done.

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