Agents accused of stopping tenants installing smart meters

30 March 2021 | Renting

Agents accused of stopping tenants installing smart meters

Letting agents have been accused of creating confusion amongst renters when it comes to smart meters.

A company promoting smart meters claims that almost exactly half the tenants questioned in a survey accuse their agents of adding a clause to their tenancy forbidding them from arranging for a meter to be installed without landlord consent.

This is “despite installation being the billpayer’s right” according to a claim by SmartEnergyUK.

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Apparently some 19 per cent of tenants think their landlord would say no if they asked for permission to make changes to their home, and 11 per cent are worried they will lose their security deposit if they do so without permission; the company also claims 33 per cent of tenants fear possible eviction.

In a statement by SmartEnergyUK, property consultant Kate Faulkner says: “It is natural to want to make your home as comfortable as possible, and the good news is that there are some improvements private renters can make to their homes which don’t require permission from the landlord, or which the landlord is happy for you to go ahead with.

“Things like tidying the garden or outdoor space and of course adding your own furniture can make it feel more like home – all of which can be easily removed prior to leaving. 

“Requesting a smart meter from your energy supplier is another way to take control of your home environment, as they give you visibility over your energy use and spend. Many tenants (and landlords) don’t realise if you pay the energy bills it is your right to request a smart meter installation. In most cases, your landlord doesn’t even need to be present for the installation, but it’s wise to let them or their letting agent know, in writing, you have requested one.”

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.