Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer to your question do not hesitate to contact us on 01234 484 44 44 or info@landlordmetering.com

General:

There are three methods available for topping up the meter:
1. Our dedicated Freephone line: 0800 781 7531 – this is free also from mobiles
2. via the web portal through our Quick Top Up, or
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.
Your tenants can give the cash to anybody and ask them to pay using their debit or credit card via our freephone telephone number, or Quick Top Up on our website. This is more convenient than going down the local Paypoint or Payzone store. Alternatively, tenants can use pre-payment debit cards (such as Pockit). These are available from newsagents and these can be loaded with cash through Paypoint or Payzone. (As you may be aware, there are new regulations aimed at preventing people from being excluded from banking services. These require banks to provide "basic" bank accounts which are without fees and don't require credit checks. These accounts provide a debit card. Benefit claimants will typically need to open bank account to receive Universal Credits as the other alternatives are not very practical).
Yes - but it's only one. Which is perfect if you want to try us out before you switch all of your flats.
Simply complete our order form and send a signed copy to info@landlordmetering.com. Once we receive the deposit payment (details can be found on the order form) your meters will usually be dispatched within 2 working days. Please see our full T&C's before ordering.
We send these meters out to you without you having to buy them. However, we require a deposit of £150 per meter to ensure that these meters actually get installed and used. If you wish to stop our service 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. And right now we have a special offer of a reduced deposit, see Reduced Deposit Promotion page for details.
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. So 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.
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.
Our gas solution is currently undergoing testing and will be ready very shortly. We also hope to have a communal / district heating solution very shortly.
We can supply an extra meter with a special tariff to save you the hassle of collecting the coins and reclaim the cost of maintenance of the machine.

Comparison to Other Solutions:

f 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. 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 ant digging up the road. See https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/our-services/list-of-services/connect-your-property-permanent/connections-single/ or http://www.northernpowergrid.com/guide-prices-and-timescales/ (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.
You may be thinking about modifying your old coin meters to accept the new £1 coin. However, it is most unlikely that they will be meet the new MID requirements (see below for more details). If so, reinstalling them is illegal with a potential fine of £5,000. Furthermore, our meters do not start to under read consumption as they get older and are practically fraud proof. So you will actually get paid for all the energy that your tenants use.

Installation:

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 10 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 meter we currently use is the ME382 by Iskraemeco. This meter is 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. See ME382 brochure here.
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 reach the meter within a few seconds.
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 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 at least one reasonable signal on a 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. Sometimes we need to supply internal or external antennas to obtain a sufficient signal.
It is most unlikely that you will see this error message when trying to add credit to your meter, The easiest way to solve this issue is simply to use another browser, eg change to Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer. Or you can go into to your existing browser's settings and (1) enable cookies for www.landlordmetering.com, (2) delete any existing cookies from www.landlordmetering.com this should resolve the problem.

You can find out a lot more information by viewing our Video, T&C’s, or our  In a Nutshell page.