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  • FIRST POST
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    gongor
    Renting into a house with prepayment meters
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    Renting into a house with prepayment meters 9th Jul 18 at 3:00 PM
    Hi!

    So my girlfriend and I have just moved into a new rented house. I'll spare you the list of problems, but one problem was that when we arrived to collect the keys, there was no active power or gas supply to the property. We quickly realised that there were prepayment gas and electricity meters installed, and as I needed power to clean the place (it was filthy) I called up npower and arranged to take over the energy supply at the property, and topped up the gas and electritcity meters by 30 each. This was one week ago.

    I have sought permission through the estate agent to switch meters, and have one more week of my cooling off period to get out of whatever contract npower are locking me into.

    Does anybody have any advice about how to switch to a good-value credit meter contract from here?

    Thanks a lot.

    Long-time reader, first-time poster :-)
Page 1
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 9th Jul 18, 3:23 PM
    • 782 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    need an answer
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:23 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:23 PM
    Do you mean switch providers rather than switching the type of meter you have?

    providers shouldn't be too problematic to change but wanting to change meters may be a little more challenging
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    2017 -32
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 9th Jul 18, 3:24 PM
    • 9,620 Posts
    • 12,953 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:24 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:24 PM
    You do not need permission of letting agent or landlord to change meters or to change supplier. Check with current supplier if there is debt on the meters - you may be paying it off!


    Hope before your started cleaning etc you took LOADS of photos..



    Artful, landlord.
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 3:32 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:32 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:32 PM
    I took over 250 photos, and my documentation of correspondence has been so methodical it's driven me a little nuts!

    I am wanting to change meter and supplier. As this is a physical change to the property, I thought I would need permission - do I definitely not need permission?

    What is the best way to switch to another supplier, whilst in the cooling-off period with npower?

    Thanks for your responses!
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 9th Jul 18, 3:40 PM
    • 25,761 Posts
    • 15,220 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:40 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:40 PM
    https://www.moneysupermarket.com/money-made-easy/how-to-switch-from-a-prepayment-energy-meter/
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 3:42 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:42 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:42 PM
    Thanks for the link - I'd actually read that article, but couldn't see anything about whether I would need permission from the letting agent/landlord...
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 3:47 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:47 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:47 PM
    Wait- I can answer that, I've just reread the clause in my tenancy agreement that requires me to ask permission to switch supplier.

    So, assuming I'm granted permission, what is the best way to switch out of my current contract (agreed over the phone) during it's cooling-ff period?
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 9th Jul 18, 3:48 PM
    • 782 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    need an answer
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:48 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:48 PM
    I took over 250 photos, and my documentation of correspondence has been so methodical it's driven me a little nuts!

    I am wanting to change meter and supplier. As this is a physical change to the property, I thought I would need permission - do I definitely not need permission?

    What is the best way to switch to another supplier, whilst in the cooling-off period with npower?

    Thanks for your responses!
    Originally posted by gongor
    I was under the impression that a change of meter would be something that the LL would want to know about.however I am happy to stand corrected by others.


    Is there anything in the tenancy agreement relating to the issue of changing either supply or meter?


    If you are going to change meter go with a company who don't charge an upfront fee as you probably would need to cover this yourself.
    The list of suppliers who offer a free meter switch does change so give it a google for the most up to date info
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    2017 -32
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Jul 18, 3:56 PM
    • 3,451 Posts
    • 6,687 Thanks
    Smodlet
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:56 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:56 PM
    Hey and welcome, gongor. Can tell you are new because you do not seem to have heard of MSE's Cheap Energy Club, usually referred to as the CEC: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub

    Other comparison sites are available, of course. Personally, I find the CEC the most functional, after that, those annoying meerkats have one which is OK, MoneySupermarket (which the CEC links to if you initiate a switch and is a pita to use, imo) Go Compare et al. If you have used them for insurance, chances are they do energy providers as well.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 4:01 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    Hi Smodlet, thanks for the welcome!

    I actually used CEC to set up my last supplier, but as I took over the current supply at my new place in a rush to get energy supplied to the house, I am now in the position where I have verbally agreed to a contract with the current nPower prepayment meter supplier over the phone, and I would to get out of that so I can find a cheaper credit meter supplier.

    Does that make sense?
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Jul 18, 4:55 PM
    • 3,451 Posts
    • 6,687 Thanks
    Smodlet
    Hi Smodlet, thanks for the welcome!

    I actually used CEC to set up my last supplier, but as I took over the current supply at my new place in a rush to get energy supplied to the house, I am now in the position where I have verbally agreed to a contract with the current nPower prepayment meter supplier over the phone, and I would to get out of that so I can find a cheaper credit meter supplier.

    Does that make sense?
    Originally posted by gongor
    Then you have my apologies, gongor. Are you still within the cooling off period (14 days, I think. I should know but don't) If so, just tell them you have changed your mind. If not, you can still switch at any time but, depending on which tariff you are on, may be liable for exit fees. If you are in a "deemed" contract with nPower because they were the existing supplier at your place, you are probably on the Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) which carries no exit fees. HTH.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • madvicker
    • By madvicker 9th Jul 18, 5:13 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    madvicker
    I am renting a place which originally had prepayment meters. I got them switched over to credit meters shortly after arriving - no need for landlord's permission or notification. But I did tell the letting agent what we were doing, only polite. For all intents and purposes, they do not have the right to stop you from changing.

    Also, a point to remember - some companies charge for installing a credit meter. Npower are one of the few that do not charge.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    • 3,451 Posts
    • 6,687 Thanks
    Smodlet
    I am renting a place which originally had prepayment meters. I got them switched over to credit meters shortly after arriving - no need for landlord's permission or notification. But I did tell the letting agent what we were doing, only polite. For all intents and purposes, they do not have the right to stop you from changing.

    Also, a point to remember - some companies charge for installing a credit meter. Npower are one of the few that do not charge.
    Originally posted by madvicker
    Wow, madvicker, you mean nPower (who are my supplier) are better than most at something? You know the reputation they have for customer service (undeserved, imo, BG are much worse) What a refreshing thing to hear. I have not needed a new meter for years but the last time we did, it was indeed free.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    So my plan is:

    - Tell Npower tomorrow over the phone that I'd like to cancel the contract I initiated with them to get my prepayment meters going
    - Use CEC to find the cheapest tariff available to me (considering new meter charges too)
    - Sign up to new contract

    What happens to any outstanding prepayment credit when I cancel the contract with Npower? Will my supply be cut off before I sign my new contract, if I cancel with Npower?
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 9th Jul 18, 5:25 PM
    • 25,761 Posts
    • 15,220 Thanks
    xylophone
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-a-better-energy-deal/switching-energy-supplier-if-youre-a-tenant/

    Your landlord can't stop you replacing a prepayment meter with a normal meter that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance. You don't need your landlord's permission to do this.
    • gongor
    • By gongor 9th Jul 18, 5:27 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gongor
    Even if there's a clause in the Tenancy Agreement that I signed...?
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Jul 18, 5:37 PM
    • 3,451 Posts
    • 6,687 Thanks
    Smodlet
    So my plan is:

    - Tell Npower tomorrow over the phone that I'd like to cancel the contract I initiated with them to get my prepayment meters going
    - Use CEC to find the cheapest tariff available to me (considering new meter charges too)
    - Sign up to new contract

    What happens to any outstanding prepayment credit when I cancel the contract with Npower? Will my supply be cut off before I sign my new contract, if I cancel with Npower?
    Originally posted by gongor
    Can't tell you about pre-payment meters as I have only ever had one for a matter of days when I bought a house with one in place Our gas engineer thought the valve had gone until he realised the reason there was no pressure was because the credit had run out. This was a week before Christmas, oh yeah.

    As for the bit in bold, heck, no. And I would consider getting nPower to change the meter for free (they ain't cheap if you have to pay) before switching; call me a scoundrel. This is a money saving site, after all.

    I do not think you needed to worry about the supply as most people do not arrange for their supplies to be cut off before moving out these days unless they know the property will be empty for a long time. It is just not worth the hassle.

    You will be in a deemed contract (i.e. you are stuck with whichever supplier the previous occupant had) until you switch or enter into a contract with the current supplier on a tariff of your choice. Until then, most likely you will be on their SVT and paying through the nose so the sooner you address this, the better. It is, however, prudent to pay more for your gas and electricity for a few weeks in order to get a free credit meter fitted rather than switch in a rush to a cheaper supplier who charges for a new meter.

    Please also be prepared to pay a deposit if required, depending on your credit status. Some suppliers demand this.

    Please let us know how you get on.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 9th Jul 18, 5:46 PM
    • 25,761 Posts
    • 15,220 Thanks
    xylophone
    Even if there's a clause in the Tenancy Agreement that I signed...?
    Read link and check with CAB.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 9th Jul 18, 5:50 PM
    • 12,419 Posts
    • 17,639 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Even if there's a clause in the Tenancy Agreement that I signed...?
    Originally posted by gongor
    The landlord does not own the meter.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 9th Jul 18, 5:51 PM
    • 783 Posts
    • 1,203 Thanks
    Slithery
    Even if there's a clause in the Tenancy Agreement that I signed...?
    by gongor
    I believe so.

    The meter never belongs to the LL in the first place, it's owned by the national grid. Therefore, you don't need the LL's permission to get it changed.
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