Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions Answered

On this page, we will hopefully answer any questions you may have, but feel free to contact us if you still have any queries.

To order, please contact us as we want to check that our system will best solve your needs.  

If we believe that there is a more suitable alternative then we will tell you

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Overview of Landlord Metering

General Queries

There are three methods available for topping up the meter:

1. Our dedicated Freephone line – this is also free from mobiles

2. via the web portal through our Quick Top Up

3. Auto Top-Up, which is available through our Tenant Portal. The meter can be set to automatically charge the registered card upon reaching a certain level of credit. And very shortly using cash at any of over tens of thousands of PayZone, Post Office and ePay outlets in the UK.

We have just launched our cash payment system using the ePay network at over 31,000 local retailers in the UK.

These include Payzone and PostOffice outlets. Please note that there is a delay of between 24 and 49 hours before payments made through these channels are credited to the meter as we receive batch files of payments which are sent at midnight. There is also a small additional charge levied on each payment to recover the additional charges that we are charged.

Yes – but it’s only one. Which is perfect if you want to try us out before you switch all of your flats.

 

There are a few things that we need to check to make sure that our service will work for you.

Because of this, we don’t have an order form that is accessible on the website. To order please contact us via phone or email and we will send you a link to our shopping cart page after checking that our solution is suitable for you.

Phone: 01234 484 444 or Email: info@landlordmetering.com

We send these meters out to you without you having to buy them. However, we require a deposit of between £120 and £175 per meter, depending on the amount ordered, to ensure that these meters actually get installed and used.

If you wish to stop our service within the first year at any time, you can cancel with a minimal notice period and as long as you return the meters undamaged we will refund your deposit.

We are confident that once you start using our service you will not want to go back. In fact, we are so confident that we do not lock you into a contract for the first year.

If you do decide you don’t want to stay with us for any reason, we will simply ask you to give us a month’s notice, return the meters to us and we will refund your deposit straight away.

No hassle whatsoever. It’s as simple as that.

After the first year, we have an easy break clause which will effectively place you in the same position as if you had bought the meter from the beginning.

Any unused credit is not refunded, but left on the meter. If the landlord, or the incoming tenants, wish to refund the old tenant for this credit then this is a private arrangement between themselves.

It is important that the out-going tenant remembers to cancel any auto-top up that they have set-up, and we would ask for the landlord to remind them to do so.

The Landlord can use the Quick Top Up portal on our website to credit the meter if needed during any protracted gap between tenancies, and to ensure that the incoming tenant starts off without a negative balance.

Alternatively, they can ask us to apply a credit to the meter, and we will deduct this from the following months remittance.

Yes. We currently have an app available for Android phones.

Through the app tenants can top up their meter, create an account for the Tenant Portal, check FAQs, and get help and support.

The app can be downloaded Here

Comparison to other solutions

If you are converting a building into flats or an HMO, then you are likely to be staggered at the price of connecting a new electricity supply to each flat. Below are some links to a couple of the Electricity Distribution Network Operators’ websites where they give you an indication of their ex VAT fees.

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Naturally the more extra meter connections you want, the larger the cost. If the electricity cables are on the other side of the road then they will charge you for closing off and digging up the road. See UK Power Networks or Northern Power Grid (note that a service alteration is moving a meter – so you will be needing one of the pricier options!!) On top of all this, the network operator will only install meters by your front door, so you will need additional wiring to link the electricity to each flat. And your builder will have to lay a trench in any front garden. In our experience, you will be dealing with a bureaucratic organisation and all the frustrations that entail: so, expect many hours on the phone, forms to fill in, hoops to jump through, several visits to arrange and many weeks of delay. The final costs can run into many thousands of pounds as you can see from their own initial estimates. With our system you simply won’t have to go through this process or pay these costs.

There are two very significant disadvantages as a landlord if you include your energy bills in the rent price.

Firstly, you are writing a blank cheque to tenants who can be very wasteful in their use of energy as they are not paying for it. Do you really want to be paying for them using their window as a thermostat or leaving the heating, lights and TV on whilst they’re out?

The other problem is that you will have to advertise your property at significantly higher prices, meaning it is more likely to be overlooked when potential tenants search for a new flat.

1. You don’t have to buy the meters, or worry about repairing or replacing them;

2. You don’t have to sell the cards so there is no need to visit the properties as often;

3. You don’t have to handle cash with the risk of being mugged, and the hassle of accounting for these payments;

4. Our meters are far more reliable;

5. Our method practically eliminates any risk of fraud;

6. No fluffing around trying to change electricity tariffs;

7. No hard work in running sub-metering system and not legally being able to make a profit to compensate for your time and effort;

8. Just sit back and let us manage the whole system for you – with you getting paid straight into your bank account;

9. And tenants prefer our system – they don’t have to buy the cards, or hunt for pound coins.

See this article from the Association of Residential Landlords about legal issues if you try to convert meters when coins change.

Installations

You will need to speak to your electrician to ensure that the building has each unit / flat on its own isolated circuit as your tenants won’t want to pay for their neighbour’s energy. If this is not the case, then unfortunately re-wiring may be required.

If you currently have another sub-metering system installed in each flat, it will simply be a case of swapping over the meters (a 15 min job as there are just four wires).

Our meters are pre-configured and if your electrician phones our helpline then we can test them there and then to confirm that all is working correctly.

As a straight swap does not normally require Part P notification to Building Control, you should not need a qualified electrician, and we provide an easy to follow installation guide.

Your electrician will naturally need to ensure that the existing wiring has each flat on its own isolated circuit as your tenants won’t want to pay for their neighbour’s energy.

We suggest that the meter is placed just outside the door to each flat.

He will also estimate the load of the building to ensure that the existing supply is adequate – if not, then you may need to get the electricity connection to the network upgraded. This usually involves changing the fuse – usually a small job but it has to be done by the Electricity Distribution Network Operator who will charge you several hundred pounds for a few minutes’ work. This is much simpler and cheaper than getting them to fit new electricity connections.

If you are building or converting a large HMO then your electrician may suggest that you have a three phase supply.

Almost all domestic wiring is single phase.

In commercial units and large HMOs where the total electricity demand for the building is higher, then sometimes a three phase electricity supply is installed. However, in large HMO’s usually the three phase electricity supply is split into three single phase circuits for groups of flats.

If this is the case, then only single phase sub-meters will be required. (You can identify a three phase supply by looking at the meter. There will typically be eight wires connected to the meter, ie input and outputs for each phase plus for the neutral.

In a single phase supply there is normally just four wires). We are able to supply three phase meters if required.

Technical

The meters that we currently use are the Meterpay modified ME382 and MT382 models by Iskraemeco. These meters are made in the EU, and Iskraemeco has the largest R&D department of any meter manufacturer in Europe. This is the latest in smart meter technology and is linked to our systems using mobile telephone SIM card. For three phase installations we can supply the MT382.

Our system is far more resilient to fraud than other alternatives. We are alerted immediately if a tenant attempts to interfere with the meter or bypass it. If they disconnect or smash up the meter, then it will lose the connection and we will instantly know. Naturally, our meters use sophisticated encryption and authentication methods to assure maximum security.

Once the payment has gone through credit will usually reach the meter within a few seconds.

Payments made by cash through the PayZone and Post Office will take between 24 and 49 hours before payments made through these channels are credited to the meter as we receive batch files of payments which are sent at midnight.

The Measuring Instruments Directive is a European directive (2004/22/EC) that requires electricity and gas meters used by landlords and installed after October 2016 to be certified to meet the required standard. Our meters are not only MID certified, but also approved by Ofgem for use in the UK. There is a fine of up to £5000 for installing, or re-installing a meter which is not MID certified to measure electricity or gas consumption for billing purposes.

MID approved gas and electricity meters can be identified by their specific markings, as required under the directive. These consist of the CE marking, the MID marking which is made up of the letter ‘M’ and then the year of manufacture (for example a meter manufactured in 2011 would have the following MID marking M11), and a four-digit code representing the notified body that approved and verified the meter. If your meter does not display these markings, it is not MID approved.

We use international roaming SIMs which can use any available mobile phone network. So as long as there is reasonable signal on at least one mobile network at the site, we can connect to the meters. If in doubt contact us, as we should be able to assist in determining whether or not your location has sufficient strength. If required we can supply internal or external antennas to obtain a sufficient signal.

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