A lesson learned

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A long standing tenant of mine recently gave notice (he has been with me for 6 years and never missed a payment). We were sorry to see him leave but wished him well.

I visit my tenants on a regular basis and check my properties and this one was kept in pristine condition and on hand over of the keys there was very little to do to bring it up to a letting standard other than the usual lick of paint.

Whilst the decorator was in the house he discovered an "unusual wire" coming from the electric meter, he called me and I went to have a look, it didn't look right to me either and I suspected the meter had been tampered with so I called the electric company (British Gas) who sent out an inspector from their revenue protection dept.

The meter had indeed been by-passed so they immediately removed it, fair enough, they need the evidence and they had the right to remove it. However, despite the account being in the tenantís name for 6 years and proof of his occupancy (standing order payments), they will not replace the meter without the £640.00 reconnection charge being paid!

The ex-tenants mobile and other phones are un-contactable (surprise, surprise) so I am left with a situation that to re-let the property it is me who has to pay for his criminal actions

What are my lessons?

1). Make sure that on future property inspections I check the meters!
2). Seriously consider whether being a good citizen is in your financial interest!. If I come across a situation like this again, am I likely to report it to the utility company?
3).You never stop learing!


19/02/2009 00:00

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