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Agency told me that I need to give my meter reading to the neighbours downstairs but their electricity bill is top-up. Any suggestions?

  • 7 April 2024
  • 4 replies
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The agency told me that I have a sub meter for my flat and that I have to give the meter reading to the neighbour downstairs (main meter), so that I am billed accordingly. But they have a top-up smart meter for their electricity. Currently, my flat is consuming their credit and I don’t know how I can compute how much I have to pay. I’m planning to ask the agency to give us separate electricity bills so its convenient. Is this easy to do? Do I need to do anything or is this the agency’s responsibilities? What can I do so that they go ahead with giving us separate electricity bills?

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Best answer by Blastoise186 7 April 2024, 22:30

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Userlevel 7
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Hey, welcome @K_Liliana !

We’ll need some time to think of how best to answer the agency question. But for now, please feel free to take a look at an existing thread for a long-term solution. This is the safest way to get separate bills for each flat.

While you read that, we’ll think this one through.

Back soon! :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

No worries, you’re most welcome.

When it comes to the neighbours and the sub-meter, I think the only solution for now is to try and come to some mutual arrangement with them about what to do until such time that you can get the supplies totally split from each other. We’re happy to try and advise if needed (can’t do legal advice though!) but I can’t think of any easy solutions otherwise.

If there’s more than three flats in the building, I would strongly recommend doing a conversion to a Building Network Operator setup, then using that to split up the individual flats into their own unique supplies. We’ve covered that before here, so I’ll give you those details too.

Your landlord would need to complete this process though - tenants shouldn’t be expected to do this. Please talk to your landlord before making changes to the supply and/or wiring setup.

If you’ve got any other questions, we’re all ears! :)

Userlevel 3

With any flat the best answer has to be a seperate supply and meter for each. Sharing a metered supply with a sub-meter is likely to cause problems with disagreements likely to arise. To get seperate meters however it is likely to involve both the energy supplier and an electrician to seperate the supplies to each flat. It would be worth looking at the cost of doing this as it may not come cheap if an extensive re-wire is required.

Userlevel 7

Who's name is the account in with the provider, your neighbour or the LL/agency?
Who do you pay?

Seperating the supply so there is one bill for each flat will cost your landlord money. (Which is likely why it hasn't already been done).
You should note that that may result in an increase in rent for both flats.

On a landlords forum I frequent you see many such posts about 1 supply/billing for houses that have been converted to flats without the utility supplies being fully split.

Your particular LL appears to have gone the half-way method of getting a private electricity sub-meter installed, so that at least you can see what the sub-flat uses and deduct that from the total billed for the property.

It isn't ideal at all, but better than nothing.
You have to calculate your own usage cost based of kWh recorded on the sub-meter plus a proportion of the standing charge.
(And it threw up some interesting arguments with last years energy discounts applying to the billed account only).
The fact that it's now a top-up meter for the main supply is just a further complication, I suspect it wasn't one at the time of the conversion.

However that is a better situation than where the LL has not installed any sub-meter and everyone is then left guessing/arguing who used what, and the bill payer trying to get the money from the non-bill payer(s).

A 3rd option is just to split the bills equally between each flat, that also usually leads to argument.

The 4th option is for a LL to rent out 'bills included', but many got stung when the energy prices rocketed up and they couldn't simply raise the all-inclusive rent to match. It was a particular problem in student accomodation where fixed rents can be agreed up to 12 months in advance.
So many LLs are now wary of that option.

PS. I assume that you also have a similar arrangement for the Water bills, and any gas supply.

 

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