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  • Landlord Resources

    Announcing "Utilities Week" - all next week on Property Tribes (from 5/01/ 2015)

    Happy New Year to all Property Tribes members.

    We are pleased to announce a themed week of content, starting next Monday, designed to bring landlords up to speed on issues surrounding utilities.

    The week is being powered by New Occupier and the content will be written by M.D. Russell Ewins, who has years of experience in this industry.

    Here is the outline of the week's content:

    Day One - Issues surrounding utilities from a landlord/tenant perspective.

    Day Two - Understanding “standard tariffs” and the fact they are the most expensive, and tenants need to register asap or be charged a premium rate.

    Day Three – Water legislation and the fact that everyone should start registering all properties now and get used to it rather than when it becomes Law. > View Day 3 article >>> here.

    Day Four – Smart Meters. The benefits to Landlords – The fact they can be switched from credit mode to pre-payment (and back again) at will without changing the meter.

    Day Five – Issues that occur when suppliers are not informed of a change of tenancy. Estimated billing, overcharging, “bailiffs” on the doorstep, and ultimately the property being broken into and pre-payment meter being fitted.

    We hope you enjoy "Utilities Week" on Property Tribes and get yourself organised and set up for 2015.

    Find out how you can change tenant details on all utilities - gas, electricity, water, and council tax - in the click of a button >>> Interview with New Occupier.

    [Image: house.png]Related content:

    Welsh Landlords - you become jointly liable to your tenant's water bill on 01/01/15

    Utilities companies

    Strategies for getting tenants to manage bills

    Council Tax Exemptions - Empty and Substantially Unfurnished Properties
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    I am very much looking forward to reading this thread throughout the course of the week.
    In particular I am interested in utilities from the perspective of an HMO owner and how to prevent costs running out of control.
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    Smart meters with the ability to change to PAYG will save the energy providers billions in losses from non paying customers.
    But gas will still be a problem as smart meters are for electricity only as far as I am aware!
    I've had tenants vacate leaving massive unpaid energy bills behind
    No recovery of those losses will ever occur.
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    Hi Paul

    Smart Meters will be for both gas and electricity, so it may be wise to switch to a single supplier to get them both changed at the same time. They will both have the functionality to be remotely switched from credit to pre-payment mode (and back again thankfully!) at the flick of a switch.

    Suppliers will have to investigate whether the tenant has any "vulnerability" before changing to pre-payment mode, but there will be no more forced entry and meters fitted without consent.

    Vulnerable is described by DECC as :

     the presence of people aged over 65 in the household;
     the presence of children aged under 16 in the household;
     chronic physical health conditions;
     mental health conditions;
     a household income of less than £10,000 per annum;
     receipt of means tested benefits;
     an education level of fewer than five O-levels/GCSEs (as a proxy indicator for
    potential literacy or numeracy problems).

    There is an additional cost of £15 per gas meter to enable this functionality, there is a plastic mechanism within the meter to allow this. Bearing in mind the proportion of gas pre-payment customers against the amount of meters it seems a disproportionate cost seeing the majority of gas customers will not use it.
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    For a one-stop, simple to use change of address form to notify utility companies of a new occupier please visit New Occupier

    Taking the stress out of changing address

    We also have a price comparison website that compares the whole market, saving your tenants up to £500 (dependent on the size of the property). Panda Saving

    We take control of utilities to save you time, and your tenants money.
    This is excellent news about smart gas meters.
    I have been trying to have smart meters fitted to all my properties; but they won't do it until in the area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Smart meters will save me hours of my time as a LL dealing with energy companies/
    I have experienced the travails of meters being changed because of a wrongun tenant etc.
    It is still ongoing from 2 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can't wait for smart meters to be fitted to ALL my properties.
    Life would be so much easier!!!
    But; and here's the thing will smart meters make it easier for suppliers to be changed!!!??
    I want to change suppliers; but it takes about 2 months for it all to occur.
    This means the previous energy supplier gets bills out of me for another 2 months or so.Sad
    Smart meters it should be just a question of a click of a mouse and i'm transferred to the new supplier!!!??
    We shall see.!!
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    Ummm...... If you use the simple form on my website, there shouldn't be a problem with suppliers Rolleyes

    British Gas and Eon are the front runners with the smart meter rollout. BG were out of the traps like a greyhound, working on the premise that if they installed the most the fastest, then when it came round to choosing an "industry standard" smart meter, they could argue that as they had installed so many, theirs should be the standard. However, after installing over a million that is not the case! To date there is no "standard" and therefore no interoperability (that's an industry word for "they don't mix between suppliers").

    You can still change suppliers, but the meter goes back to being "dumb". It has no smart functions. That said, most of the meters installed are only "smarter" and not really smart at all.

    I have 12 years experience and a lot of contacts within the industry, so if you, or anyone else for that matter, is interested in having a smart meter, drop me a line with your details and we can bundle the addresses up and have a voice on the matter.

    Ultimately, I am looking to arrange installations during void periods, so tenants are not disrupted by it, but also so they have no say in the matter Sad
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    For a one-stop, simple to use change of address form to notify utility companies of a new occupier please visit New Occupier

    Taking the stress out of changing address

    We also have a price comparison website that compares the whole market, saving your tenants up to £500 (dependent on the size of the property). Panda Saving

    We take control of utilities to save you time, and your tenants money.