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Scottish Power installed a pre pay meter without landlords knowledge


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hi all

 

I'd be very happy if I can get some advice on this, as I am speaking to Scottish Power tomorrow

 

basic story:

 

I had a tenant who stopped paying rent in March, Finally got a court judgement for him to vacate 4th November. (He didn't)

 

He finally left 15th December, but a pre paid meter was installed 5th December as he had arrears with Scottish Power.

 

I have been asked to pay just under £200 to reinstall a normal meter, which I'm not happy about.

 

I have been on the phone with various call centre staff and have been told the following

 

"if you had informed us , we wouldn't have installed the meter" although they cant answer the question of how was I to know

 

1)Scottish Power was the supplier

 

2) There were arrears on the account.

 

I am on my 3rd or 4th escalation now, not sure how high up the food chain I am at the moment, but do I have any action to avoid paying this charge and getting a "normal" meter installed.

 

 

what little hair I have will have fallen out after this whole epsiode!

 

thanks

 

Billy

Edited by billysport
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Hello Billy welcome to the site.

Its understandable that you are not happy-most would feel the same.

The prepayment meter would have been installed under agreement between them and your Tenant,and you are of course not to know or had any possibility to agree or refuse permission,if the Tenant did not inform you.

The likelyhood is that had you been informed,then you would not have given permission.

My understanding is that charges for removing and re fitting a credit meter vary from company to company,with some offering to have it done FOC, whilst for others charges can vary.

The arrears are clearly not yours,and presumably the prepayment meter is currently set to collect them.

There is also the disadvantage of a higher tariff and standing charge.

Clearly this is not your debt,and is likely to adversly affect any new tenant.

There is the option of switching and finding a provider who would stand the cost of putting a credit meter in.But it is well established that where there are arrears due to an existing supplier,it can affect the decision of a potential new provider,asc well as the existing one refusing to allow it.

In these circumstances that you find yourself in this would appear to be unfair business practices.

We do have a rep from Scottish Power registered on the site,and I am sure they will pop in to make some comment.

Keep us updated on your response in the meantime.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Hi Billy

I have found that writing to the CEO of the company you have a grievance with usually elicits a good response.

Keith Anderson is the CEO of Scottish Power, write to him at the Head office address and send your letter by recorded delivery.

Good luck

Gbarbm

Gbarbm

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What I find hard to understand though, is that the tenant should not have been in the flat. He was ordered to vacate 4th nov, do he wasn't a tenant then(?) the point i am arguing with Scottish power is he had no right to be in the flat so should not have let them in, the agent would have taken over the flat and this wouldn't of occurred. Does that make sense?

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Absolutely it does Billy,and it is good that you have a papertrail of the evidence to support all you say.

Lets see what Colin can come up with (Scottish Power Rep) here.

I have emailed him a link to this thread.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Agree with you Billy..... The property owner is you not the tenant and in my opinion they should have contacted you (or the agent) to discuss it before installing the meter. Obviously the tenant knew they were on their way out because of the eviction notice and didn't give a flying you know what who they let in!

I would write to the CEO with the details because why should you pay to have the meter removed when you didn't want the darn thing in the first place

Gbarbm

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What I find hard to understand though, is that the tenant should not have been in the flat. He was ordered to vacate 4th nov, do he wasn't a tenant then(?) the point i am arguing with Scottish power is he had no right to be in the flat so should not have let them in, the agent would have taken over the flat and this wouldn't of occurred. Does that make sense?

 

 

 

Agree with you Billy..... The property owner is you not the tenant and in my opinion they should have contacted you (or the agent) to discuss it before installing the meter. Obviously the tenant knew they were on their way out because of the eviction notice and didn't give a flying you know what who they let in!

I would write to the CEO with the details because why should you pay to have the meter removed when you didn't want the darn thing in the first place

 

There is the possibility the utility supplier had obtain a Warrant from a magistrate to enter and fit the pre-payment meter for non payment...

 

You cant stop them if there are armed with a Warrant lawfully obtained..

 

Utility supplier where not to know the tenant was been lawfully evicted.1aK+F4PJ7cBm32CUNiyI2GAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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That being the case,surely there would have been paperwork left.

In addition,SP would have added the further costs for this,and why if this is what DID happen was Billy not informed when he asked about the removal of the PPM ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Hi billysport,

 

The installation of the pre-payment meter may well have been done at warrant, however the reason for the installation is not really relevant. If your tennat was still registered (with ScottishPower) as the person responsible for paying the bills it is only them we need permission from or if fitted at warrant, that we need to notify.

 

The charges you have talked about are £50.00 for the actual meter to be changed, this covers the costs of the engineer etc. The other £150.00 is a security deposit which we will refund after 12-months as long as the payment history on the account is good.

 

In terms of the previous tennats debt this will not impact either yourself or another tennat as the meter will be reset so you will only pay for what you use. For your information our pre-payment tariff is actually the second cheapest after payment by Monthly Direct Debit.

 

In addition to my work on the consumers forums I am part of the Directors Support Team within ScottishPower and deal with complaints received by the Direcotrs/CEO and also from Customer Focus and Consumer Direct. If you want to PM me with your details I can review your case to see if I can assist you in any way.

 

Kind regards

 

Graeme @ ScottishPower

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Thanks for fast response Graeme.

Some food for thought.

You say that your pre-payment tariff is the second cheapest after payment by Monthly direct debit,but is it not the case that most customers pay this way ?

Also it would be interesting to know how your pre-payment tariffs compare with others as this is surely what is more important is it not ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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This is what Which ? have to say on the subject;

 

Prepayment meters

 

Prepayment meter customers pay for energy in advance by buying energy tokens or energy credit loaded on to a key or swipe card. Once the credit is low or runs out, you top up the card or key with more credit.

This is usually the most expensive way to pay for electricity and gas. Your energy meter will need to be changed if you want to transfer to an energy tariff that allows you to pay by direct debit or cash/cheque.

Most energy companies won't charge to change a prepayment meter, but you may have to pay a security deposit if you've had trouble paying for gas and electricity in the past.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies so far, very appreciated. I am still struggling to believe the cost if this should not be met by the tenant and Scottish power chasing and enforcing this.

 

So my next avenue to Persue then, is to make sure Scottish power followed this procedure to the letter, so would anyone know the process they would need and evidence I would want to see to show they followed the process clearly?

 

I don't even want to go into how incompetent the letting agent has been( legal action will more than likely be taken against them). The tenant owes £6.5k and this Scottish power debacle is just the cherry on top ..

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by billysport
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You would need to now open an official complaint.

In usual circumstances evidence would be obtained by making a full DSAR,but obviously in this case that data is confidential to the Tenant.

I think that there is a case to put forward an arguement that the Tenant was not authorised nor given the permission to have a pre payment meter installed,and that if Scottish Power are saying that it is in their terms and conditions,then this may be open to challenge on the basis that it is unfair,in that it creates an imbalance which denies you the option to exercise permissions .

They are of course relying on the fact that the contract was with your tenant and them.

I would imagine that they have discretion to decide on any matters where there are issues of this nature,and should really look at the account history prior to this last customer.

IMO it may be worth contacting Graeme as he has suggested and at least give him the opportunity to see if he can sort anything out.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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The OFT guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements is a little ambigous in this area,but does

mention changes / reporting these to the landlord.

 

 

 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf

 

page 64

 

Against changing the phone or utility The tenant should have the choice of

supplier. supplier although he may be required to

keep the landlord informed of any change

and to return the account to the original

supplier at the end of the tenancy.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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The OFT guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements is a little ambigous in this area,but does

mention changes / reporting these to the landlord.

 

 

 

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/unfair_contract_terms/oft356.pdf

 

page 64

 

Against changing the phone or utility The tenant should have the choice of

supplier. supplier although he may be required to

keep the landlord informed of any change

and to return the account to the original

supplier at the end of the tenancy.

 

Presumably you are suggesting that SP do this on request from the landlord & chase the ex tenant for the money (since they will be chasing for the remainder anyway)

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Sorry was not here today so only just seen it.

We dont encourage this sort of action but I can see your frustration and of course we know the needs.

When you get to 15 I will delete them.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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