Servern Trent> Meter> tenants.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
5 replies 2.5K views
MorganmeMorganme Forumite
1 Post
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
We have recently moved into a rental property. Before we moved we asked our new landlord if we could have a Meter fitted as we've had a Meter previously and saved around £200 per year by doing so.

The landlord refused. Before taking on the property I spoke to an advisor at ST who said as we had requested one but the landlord had refused we could go onto an assessed tarrif/rate which would bring our bill down to similar amounts that we pay on a Meter. All they needed was a letter from the landlord stating they refuse a Meter to be fitted.

Today we received a bill for the higher rate. When I called up I asked if they had received the letter stating we can't have a Meter and we could be put on an assessed rate but was told that I was given the wrong information when I called prior to our house move and we aren't allowed to be put on as assessed rate after all.

Where do I stand on this. Should Severn Trent honour their mistake and let us go on the lower tarrif? Our case is being passed on to a manager at ST but I would like some advice before they call me back on Monday.

They suggested as we had signed a 12m contract that we don't need permission, but I'm reluctant to go against my landlords wishes as it leaves us open to losing our hefty deposit at the end of our tenacy, or worse being served a section 21 notice. I've approached the topic several times but they have stated each time they don't want a Meter, even when I've explained the cost savings.

I would not have taken on this property knowing we are paying full wack for water and no chance to lowering it. For us a meter is perfect and has worked in our favour for many years so ideally this would be my first option but as it isn't possible an refused rate was better than nothing so that is the reason we went ahead and signed the contract.


  • edited 19 December 2015 at 2:19PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 19 December 2015 at 2:19PM
    Welcome to the forum.

    Whoever told you that you could go on an assessed rate simply because the landlord refused to allow a meter was talking rubbish. The Ofwat and ST regulations clearly state you must apply for a meter and only go on an assessed rate if a meter cannot be fitted.

    I doubt any advisor at ST would admit to making such a basic mistake, and even if you had it in writing, I doubt if ST would rectify that mistake by putting the property on an assessed rate, albeit you might get a small compensation payment.

    However as ST state, your landlord has no say in the matter if YOU want a meter. I appreciate that you don't want to upset him, but you can't have it both ways.

    I am rather surprised that ST would carry out such a conversation with you before you even moved into the property. In your covering letter to the landlord's letter, sent before you moved in, did you put down the name of the person at ST you spoke to?
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    im sure if its longer than a 6 month tenancy the landlord cant refuse, speak to citizens advice
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    deanos wrote: »
    im sure if its longer than a 6 month tenancy the landlord cant refuse, speak to citizens advice
    The LL has no say.

    The Water Industry Act 1999 s11 says tenancy agreements cannot be used to stop tenants who pay their own water bills from choosing a meter.

    Relevant paragraph
    Rights of tenants in relation to metering.

    After section 209 of the Water Industry Act 1991, there is inserted—
    “209A Rights of tenants in relation to metering.

    (1)Subject to subsection (3) below, no express or implied term of any tenancy is to be regarded—

    (a)as excluding or restricting the exercise by the tenant of any right to give—

    (i)a measured charges notice under section 144A above, or

    (ii)any consent for the purposes of section 144B(2)(a)(ii) above,

    (b)as preventing the installation or connection, in pursuance of such a notice or consent given by the tenant, of a meter for use in determining the charges which may be fixed in relation to water supplied to the premises comprised in the tenancy, or

    (c)as requiring any consent to be obtained in relation to such installation or connection.

    (2)In subsection (1) above “tenancy” includes a licence which is treated as a tenancy by virtue of section 79(3) of M8the Housing Act 1985; and references to a “tenant” are to be construed accordingly.

    (3)Subsection (1) above does not apply where the tenancy is a fixed term tenancy for a term of less than six months; and for this purpose “fixed term tenancy” means any tenancy other than a periodic tenancy.”
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    Nor can your LL withold the return of your deposit because you choose to install a meter. ST can if they wish impose a meter upon you as a new occupier anyway.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • EmmyLou30EmmyLou30 Forumite
    586 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Posts
    As others have said, the LL can't refuse to allow you to have a meter, and also can't withhold your deposit because you went against his wishes. I can see it from the LL point of view in that he won't be able to get rid of it when you leave as once it's fitted , it's there for life (depending on your water company's rules). But if I were you then I'd get it fitted, hope he doesn't find out, and if he does then expect to be on the receiving end of a S21!
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