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For a tenant arranging his/her own electricity account is it permissible for the tenant change the type of meter without consulting the landlord?

For example, change from a standard meter to prepayment type.

I have always assumed that the meter is the property of the electricity supplier so that strictly speaking the tenant could arrange for whatever type he/she wants to manage what is their own account.

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Some T's want a pre paid to budget but more importantly there will never be an outstanding debt, so there are a couple of plus points.

The downside, for the T anyway, is they will pay about 20% more and I can't see a downside to the LL, I would guess it's in your favour.

One of my T's changed over to a key meter and then told me but I wasn't unduly concerned, if the next T doesn't want a key meter then the electric company will change it back, all I believe at no cost. Basically, it's the account holder (T) that has to make the arrangments.



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Not all electricity companies charge over the odds for key meters - Southern Electric don't


Twice now I have had to get the meters changed because prospective tenants did not want key meters and previous tenants had left. Just making an appointment with the company took all afternoon of hanging on for this and that operator. The gas meter had a 3 week waiting time, the electric 10 days. The technician was to come between 1 and 6 pm and turned up at 5.50pm! Job took 10 mins. What a waste of my time.

I stipulate in the AST that T must not change the meter. Stay in control I say.


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You can get prepayment meters that you buy outright and then fit between the utility company meter and your appliances. They are called pulsed output meters and you can install the cardreaders upto 10m away.

See following links:

Leccy meters:- http://www.stephenpwales.co.uk/Product/card/home_cards.htm

Gas meters;- http://www.meters.co.uk/gasmetersresidential.htm

You cant charge your tenants more but it may make life easier - small investment for goodwill. When they want to budget switch on the meter and supply the cards, when they dont just switch off.

Hope this helps

PS Gas meters MUST be fitted by Gas Safe registered engineers and Leccy MUST be fitted by suitably qualified Sparkys!

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