To water meter or not to water meter?

by Readers Question

3 months ago

To water meter or not to water meter?

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To water meter or not to water meter?

My tenant has requested a water meter as at present he has single occupancy of the property. Has anyone else encountered this scenario or have any advice on it please?

Thanks

Tim

Comments

Mark Alexander

3 months ago

I'm amazed there are still properties that don't have water meters!

Gary Dully

3 months ago

As the tenant normally pays for their own water, the meter is usually fitted free of charge.

What's the problem?

Tracy Conner

3 months ago

Once you have a meter you can't return to rates as they are phasing them out so what is good for him may not be as good for future tenants although they won't be any the wiser if a meter is there already.
In a case where you are the bill payer not the tenant (e.g. HMO) it can be dangerous as all they have to do is leave a toilet running and go on holiday and you're paying so you might have to ring fence that in the contract. We are Southern Water and meters have always produced much bigger bills for houses with 2/3 people upwards and we have to take care of reading our own meters correctly as there are frequently problems with leaks on the meters and erroneous bills. Don't leave that to the water company. We are told they are read electronically but it's clear they aren't done accurately or regularly.
In your case you might only have every have a small household and the bill will always be their responsibility. If so you might want to let him get on with it but review the installation and reading carefully when he moves out.

Gunga Din

3 months ago

I have one three storey (Victorian) terrace with no meters/common supply. The water company would of course like me to have meters but this would involve some invasive surgery in each flat to re-pipe it. Some years ago I had the three supply pipes laid under the back yard to a point under the ground floor flat, but I don't feel the need to have meters until such time as the law requires it.

Mike

3 months ago

There are hundreds of thousands of properties in London still without meters, so water charges are based on rateable value of the properties which were set some long while back, we are two occupants in my house and my average water bill is £370.00 per year, 5 years ago I bought my own water meter from ebay and installed it in my water pipeline, to monitor my own usage, I worked out that my usage shocked me beyond belief, we don't run washing machine more than two times a month, we don't take baths but short shower every other day, and try not to waste too much water like for gardening etc, we don't use any hose pipe, so we use water sensibly, often we don't flush the toilet when we only go for a small pee, we flush it every other go, still my average yearly usage is 245cu meters, that would work out about £540.00 at approx £2.20 per cubic meter Thames water charges, plus the minimum charges for rainwater disposal of ANOTHER £70.00 per year on top, thus bringing my water charges to well over £600.00, which is almost double, so I am thinking what would happen to a;ll those people with large families with many children, our streets are all marked up for meter installation this Autumn, so i am dreading new water charges, I am sure lots of people will moan how high their water bill has gone, so if Thames water fits meters to every house in the whole borough, and suddenly the water charges are doubled, that means their profits will rocket by nearly 100% in which case I think there will be a public outcry about their such high charges for supplying water at such a high cost, that means people will have to write to their MPs and water ombudsman to ask TW to relook at their prices and also to stop wasting water at our expense through poor infra structure and not having renewed old pipes and loosing lots of water through breakages, but of course we are the ones picking up the bill.

Rob Crawford

3 months ago

I have some bills inch HMO's and some smaller 1, 2 & 3 bed properties that are not bills inch. I have always found metres cheaper than without. Ref the point made by Tracey about HMO's. Landlords should make regular visits to check fire alarms etc so water running / leaks can be checked then. I suppose it depends on whether your tenants are students of benefits but with professionals I have never experienced irresponsible water use or not reporting leaks etc. I agree the risk is there.

Tracy Conner

3 months ago

Glad to hear it Rob.
Yes, I'm talking more from a student perspective, it's a different ball game and the risks are there. I also wonder if there is a variation in tariffs from one water board to another as I've had a reasonably poor experience of Southern Water.

Paul Green

3 months ago

Personally any home with a Utility metered is going to cost more in the long. Than one with out. I would think about other tenants who may be a couple & have a baby. And like bathing, stay at home mum the meter will spin all day. It might suit his needs in the short term. But he could be gone at the end of the AST which is either 6 or 12 months. I would say no.....

Reply to the comment left by Paul Green at 22/08/2017 - 16:19
Hi Paul, I take your point about future tenants which is what makes it a tricky one. Our current tenant has been in the property for 4 years and is a good tenant.

Mark Alexander

3 months ago

I would put his needs first. As you say, the next tenant will be none the wiser so why risk losing a good one now?

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