Change of pre-paid meter to quarterly meter

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The tenants have vacated from the property I own. The property has a pre-paid gas meter (which was already installed when I purchased the property in May 2006.) The electric bill was paid quarterly. Gas and electricity are both supplied by Powergen -e-on.
I have contacted e-on this afternoon to request to remove the pre-payment meter.
This would seem to be a difficult process.
They have stated they would only remove it if the tenant requests this after being a customer for 12 months at the property
I set up a direct debit and become liable for any tenant's future useage of gas (ie I become a guarantor) with an expectation I claim the money back direct from the tenant or include an amount in the rent.
Powergen have stated it is 50 to remove the meter. They have also said there was a change in their policy about 12 months ago regarding removal of pre-payment meters.
One of the reasons they do this is for their protection in payments and risk of new tenants not paying bills. I feel this is unfair and I am not sure if this is common practice for utility companies.
I feel it is an inconvenience to any of my potential tenants. Powergen offer a 3% discount when setting up a direct debit to pay the bills. Any potential tenant does not have this option.
Do you know if this is common practice that landlords have installed pre-payment meters and I should keep mine at the property?
If I wanted to challenge Powegen's policy on this can you advise me how to do so please.

I would appreciate your advice on this please.

Kind regards


25/10/2008 00:00

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