Access to electricity meters being made difficult for lease apartment owners

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PJB Rentals
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The apartment block with some of my properties has all of the electricity meters for each individual property in a single communal store room under the stairs.

When the properties were handed over at legal completion time each leaseholder was given a key to allow them to unlock and access this store room.

Recently, the managing service agents have changed the locks on these doors because they claim that somebody had been tampering in there and they took this action this for Health and Safety reasons.

The agents did not notify any of the leaseholders either that there were problems with someone tampering in the stores or that they had changed these locks.

Each apartment owner only finds out that they cannot read their meters when they go to try and read them in the normal way, and then each person has had to ring up the services company to enquire as to why they cannot get in.

We are now experiencing problems in knowing what our electricity consumption readings are. Some tenants have very high estimated bills but cannot supply readings, landlords cannot check readings as and when tenants move in and out.

Requests for specific access to check readings have been made in writing and by telephone, both seem to be ignored. This problem is not being handled at all, and we are being left with financial hardships, tenancy challenges and inconvenience.

What can we do when a tenant is moving out and another one is moved in before the meter readings have been confirmed for us? The tenants are normally responsible for their own electricity accounts in these apartments.

We could take steps to manage the block ourselves, but is there anything simpler that we can legally do about this challenge?

This is very inconvenient for the sensible well behaved majority of owners and residents. The blocks are just three years old and there is no obvious evidence of any vandalism or bad behaviour that I have seen, and I visit frequently.

For all we know the reasons given for this could be totally untrue.

23/02/2007 00:00

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