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Water Meter and Tenant

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flip_flop | 09:08 Tue 18th Sep 2012 | Law
15 Answers
I have a small house which I let out and the current tenant has just phoned me and had a moan that I didn't tell her that the property was on a water meter.

This was news to me.

I've just gone and checked and it is indeed on a water meter - my current tenant phoned the water company while I was there and it turns out my previous tenant arranged for it to be installed.

Given that I had no knowledge of this, did not give authority for the meter to be installed, and had I been asked would not have given authority, can I insist the water company remove it?

Thanks in advance.

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Who gets the water bills- you or the tenant?
Question Author
The tenant.
If the previous tenant's name and address were on the bill I'm not surprised the Water Company accepted their request for a meter. I can't remember anyone asking us when we had our meter installed whether we owned or rented the property.
I can only suggest you ask the water company but they may not speak to you as you are not their customer
I don't think they will take it out. Once they are in they prefer them to bills.

IF there is nothing you can do you will just have to tell your tenant that that is the way it is and they will have to live with it. Or give them a month to find another property.

What do they expect you to do.... I bet they will ask for a reduction in rent or a back hander to help cover the cost!!!!
A meter should save them money anyway. We have just had our first meter reading and despite nightly baths, morning showers, washer and dishwasher, our annual bill has fallen from £800 to £360
Most water companies will revert to the old method of charging if you request it within the first year of having the meter installed, they will probably not remove the meter. If your previous tenants had a fixed term tenancy of over 6 months they could request a meter be installed if the tenancy was for the minimum 6 months they should obtain the owner’s permission.
Your current tenants may find it cheaper to have the meter and pay for what they use rather than a charge based upon the rateable value of the property.
It seems every day I find something more that disgusts me regarding how these in power impose on decent folk. Best of luck with your cause but as someone with no knowledge of how the law goes, life experience suggests the water company managerment are wetting theirselves laughing about how they got you and you can't do anything legal about it.
Question Author
Quite Old_Geezer.

My tenant has now phoned them and expressed my concern, and their answer is because it has been in-situ since 2009, it is staying in, and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.

I am feeling pretty peeved - and amazed at the brass neck of my previous tenant arranging for it to be installed without my knowledge.
It doesn`t surprise me. I had a tenant that changed the electricity from a coin operated meter to a regular one without my consent. I only found out when they vacated. The supply companies don`t request ID when they do these things. A water meter might be more of an attractive proposition to future tenants though.
as the tenant pays either electric, gas, water etc. they have the right to decide how to pay it. it is not up to the landlord as the meters are not your property, i'm afraid.
If you read the link supplied by snags you will fine a tenant does not need the landlords permission to have a water meter installed, also once the tenancy changes the meter can not be removed . You are stuck with the meter.
But as has been said in most cases the meter saves money. The house next door to ours is identical and has the same no of people in it , we pay £9.86 a week water rate but they pay less than £5 on the meter. Very nearly half price.
Water meters are on the way to being compusory now anyway it is government policy. Meters ,gas , electricity and water are the property of the supply company not the landlord or the occupier.
You can be as peeved as you like, meter's are being fitted all over the UK as we speak. Soon every household will have to have one
In our area it is compulsory to have a meter fitted when the occupancy changes.
you could insist they remove it but they will be reluctant to.

unless the new tenant is leaving taps running for fun or endlessly watering the garden they will actually be better off with a water meter.

Sounds like your tenant is just having a moan

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