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  • Legal FAQs

    Landlord electric supply on prepay meter?

    Hi

    I've gained access to a property and want to use the electric supply as a landlord supply as putting in a new line will be £4000+.

    I will do a submeter for the tenant when they move in.

    I've spoken to scottish power who say theres no smart meter suppliers for my area, so i cant get a credit meter as they only do smart meters, and will call me back when its available.

    Are credit meters a legal requirement for a fire alarm or can prepay ones be used at a pinch until they can be upgraded?

    thanks

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    Hi,

    I faced similar situation in the past. The company wanted £6000 for a new supply to allow a Landlord meter in a house converted to 4 flats. The existing 3 phase is no longer accepted standards in such set up. Preveious owner was piggy backing into one of the flats with no meter!!

    I got my electrician to do load calculations, and allowing for diversity of usage, it was accepted by the supply company as all flats have GAS central heating with no electric showers.

    They only charged me £228 to say yes. Then I contacted British Gas to install a meter. Their engineer nearly bailed oit as he is not trained/allowed on 3 phase connection. I had to show him the power grid letter and asked to speak to my electrician. He just did it then.

    If your property uses electrics for heating then a new supply is the only firmal way the supply company will entertain within the current stabdards.

    Hope this helps


    P.S keep us posted how you get on

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    the question was more about using a prepay meter if thats ok

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    Hi Jon

    It's difficult to answer without more details

    If it is an HMO (or small block of flats) and you have a legal requirement for a smoke alarm then I believe that the Council would obviously not be at all happy with a prepayment meter as it is could go out,   They are likely to inspect before giving you an HMO licence. .

    Re your comments about Scottish Power (presumably SP Energy Networks who are Distribution Network Operator) and smart meters - I am a little bit confused.  They will install the meter tails and the supplier will normally install the meter - which given the  Government push to this technology will almost certainly be a smart meter (please make sure that is a SMETS2 and not be fobbed off with a SMETS1).  But all the major suppliers can use a SMETS2 meter, just not some of the (cheaper) smaller suppliers.

    You could avoid the £4k cost of a new connection by simply delaying the installation the sub-meters, and get your supplier to change the main supply to a credit meter (some won't but we know of one or two who do it for free), get your HMO licence and then install the sub-meters before the tenants move in. (Obviously you would need a half decent credit history but it is rare for a landlord not be able to get a credit meter).   The smoke alarm will then run off the landlord's supply on the non-submetered communal area.

    If it is not an HMO but a single flat as you imply by the use of the word "tenant" rather than "tenants" then I personally am unaware of any normal legal requirement for a smoke alarm / emergency licence under LACORS but maybe there are unusual circumstances with this building (and far be it for me to discourage people from fitting smoke alarms).  As such you should be okay with a prepayment meter as you are already going above and beyond the legislation.  But  if you have emergency lighting and let the supply go down often then I wonder what effect this might have on the life of the batteries in the lighting.

    If it is only a single flat and you only have a smoke alarm then I would not waste my money on a sub-meter for this property (although supplying and running them is my business).  The amount of electricity used would be marginal so I would piggy back from the tenant's supply.

    If it is an HMO or several flats, then as a fellow landlord and owner of a sub-metering company then I obviously believe sub-metering is the way to go as long as you have separate circuits for each unit / flat.   We offer a fantastic solution which is unique in the UK whereby we run everything for the landlords on a no commitment basis, look after your tenants with a freephone 0800 top-up number (not a 0845 which can cost more than £2.50 for a five minute top-up call from a mobile),   There are no hidden costs as we are upfront with our pricing - so it works out cheaper.  Check us out on  https://www.landlordmetering.com or tel 01234 484 444 to speak to me or my team.

    Gary

    https://www.landlordmetering.com

    tel 01234 484 444

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    ... or are you saying that you have an HMO / block of flats (so a smoke alarm is needed under LACORS)  with each tenant having their own MPAN ie direct connection to the Distribution Network, but the one that you wish to piggy back from has a PAYG meter?  If so, a prepayment meter wouldn't be allowed as far as I am aware, and if the Council inspected or there was a fire, then you could be in trouble.   If you couldn't get a decent tenant who would be able to get a credit meter (and then you could piggy back from that) - we would be able to supply a single sub-meter.

    Gary

    https://www.landlordmetering.com

    tel 01234 484 444

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