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Advice needed- electric meter bypassed.
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# 1
penny_sweet
Old 04-09-2008, 2:38 PM
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Unhappy Advice needed- electric meter bypassed.

I need some advice on this please, I have no idea what to do about it and am absolutely petrified about what might happen.
I returned to my property last week after it had been rented out to a 'friend' in order to get it ready for a new tenant only to find the the electric meter had been bypassed. I have now got a new meter for my new tenant but in the process of British gas changing the meter they've obviously found out that it had been bypassed in the first place.
I know that it is my responsibility to check these things and that I've been incredibly naive and way too trusting, but I honestly had no idea what was going on and now British Gas have told me that the police will be chasing me and that I could end up in prison. I can't afford to get a criminal record due to the nature of my job.
Has anybody experienced this or does anyone know what I should do?
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# 2
bryanb
Old 04-09-2008, 2:42 PM
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If you've done nothing criminal, no reason to get a record. Just give the name & details of the person responsible when questioned.
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# 3
penny_sweet
Old 04-09-2008, 3:18 PM
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I don't have a contact address for this person. We parted on bad terms with her owing me a fair amount of money and she has since moved to Spain. I don't even know where her family live, so would have no way of contacting her.
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# 4
bryanb
Old 04-09-2008, 3:23 PM
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That makes things more difficult, do you have a copy of her tenancy agreement?
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# 5
penny_sweet
Old 05-09-2008, 2:51 PM
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Yeah I do, she started out as a lodger though and later when I fell ill she was living in the house on her own, but we didnt change the terms of her original contract, she just paid me more each month.
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# 6
greenbee
Old 05-09-2008, 4:42 PM
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Make clear to whoever is investigating that you made arrangements for the meter to be sorted out as soon as you became aware of the issue, and provide them with as much information as possible about the tenant. Point out that you're well aware of the risks involved in bypassing meters, as well as the fact that it is theft. Have you checked that the gas meter hasn't been tampered with, as this is even more dangerous, and may not be visible? It might be worth asking the supplier to check it, and it should also help them to realise that you're not the one at fault.
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# 7
edrick
Old 05-09-2008, 4:51 PM
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Hi,have they changed the meter? also has any one been round to to take pictures of the bypass? suppliers have a revenue protection team who visit a property after a bypass has been found.Finally who found the bypass,was it meter reader or was it someone who was there to change the meter? if the meter has been changed and there is no photographic evidence, there is no proof!
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# 8
bryanb
Old 05-09-2008, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penny_sweet View Post
Yeah I do, she started out as a lodger though and later when I fell ill she was living in the house on her own, but we didnt change the terms of her original contract, she just paid me more each month.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not being sexist but it would be a bit unusual if a woman did this (the bypass) Are you sure she lived there alone?
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# 9
penny_sweet
Old 08-09-2008, 8:15 AM
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I don't think my lodger did this with any malice as I know that she once told me that she'd had problems with the electricity but had got an electrician out to sort it out so I don't think she did it to get free electricity. As far as evidence goes, British gas did not see the bypassed meter as me not knowing anything about electricity called an electrician when I couldn't see a meter reading, who informed me that it had been bypassed and 'un-bypassed' it for me. The only reason I know that there is a problem with British gas is because my new tenant stayed at the house as I had to work and she informed me that they were going to investigate as they could see it had been tampered with and that the police would be informed.
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# 10
bryanb
Old 08-09-2008, 9:21 AM
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Hi again, Edrick's advice seems good to me, if the bypass had been removed before BG saw it I guess they noticed broken seals, in itself that would not prove "abstraction of power" (theft) I'd wait to see what they come up with in their investigation. Having said that, there is only one reason to bypass a meter, that is to get free elec. It's not something you do by mistake.
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# 11
penny_sweet
Old 08-09-2008, 2:54 PM
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No, I think from what the electrician told me is that the wires burnt out soI think (and this is just a guess although she did refuse to pay her rent so I wouldn't put anything past her) that the meter broke (he said the wires had burnt out) and the bypass was done just as a way to get some supply of electricity to the house. It was a pre-pay meter by the way.

Last edited by penny_sweet; 08-09-2008 at 2:56 PM.
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# 12
bryanb
Old 08-09-2008, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penny_sweet View Post
the bypass was done just as a way to get some supply of electricity to the house. It was a pre-pay meter by the way.
Whatever anyone says, electrician or not, the sentence above shows that the intention was to steal electricity. Not yourself but the lodger/electrician.
When "wires are burnt out" you make an appropriate repair/replacement, you don't bypass the meter.
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# 13
omegauk
Old 18-08-2011, 12:22 AM
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Smile agree with bryanb

I agree with bryand, the electrician would not of by-passed the meter for her. he would of disconnected it and made safe and then tell her to phone her provider and they would of come out and repaired it.
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# 14
eurmalian
Old 18-08-2011, 9:38 AM
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The poster below has a very good point.

I feel suitably ashamed for not checking the dates.
I am an employee of British Gas, however the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.

Last edited by eurmalian; 18-08-2011 at 9:44 AM.
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# 15
carly
Old 18-08-2011, 9:41 AM
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This thread is nearly 3 years old. I would hope that the OPs problem has been solved by now.
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# 16
Ihatecameron
Old 18-08-2011, 3:42 PM
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Storm in a tea cup, nothing to worry about. Utility companies are not held to account for robbing people so in theory there is no theft. Fuel poverty is a crime against humanity that results in the deaths of around 2 thousand elderly people every year, because they can't afford heating costs.
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# 17
eurmalian
Old 18-08-2011, 3:51 PM
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Wow! I don't know what planet you live on, but you've at least made me feel better about not noticing it was a long dead thread...
I am an employee of British Gas, however the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.
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# 18
vax2002
Old 18-08-2011, 3:56 PM
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An electrician is only usually qualified to touch the electrical supply from the other side of the main fuse, which is after the meter, meter jumping is nothing new, in fact it was invented around the same time as the meter.
Just inform them that they are a victim of the same crime as you, deception and do not answer anymore questions unless under arrest
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# 19
bengasman
Old 19-08-2011, 7:57 AM
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As long as you can make reasonably clear that the house was rented out, you have nothing to worry about.
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# 20
eurmalian
Old 19-08-2011, 9:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carly View Post
This thread is nearly 3 years old. I would hope that the OPs problem has been solved by now.
I've been wondering for a little while how much of the previous comments some posters read before replying to threads. I guess this one answers it...
I am an employee of British Gas, however the views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Centrica, its subsidiaries or affiliated companies.
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