Meter Bandit

Meter Bandit
NO landlord in their right mind likes the changeover to new tenants. It’s hassle for sure. It’s expensive, time consuming and rather drab and I tend to avoid it like the plague. I’d rather pay the letting agent some cash to sort it for me as I’m not the most patient of people (so my wife keeps telling me!)

On this particular occasion, a dark, wet and windy November morning I was dreading the changeover of my 3 bed flat in Cheadle. My letting agent is great, they’ll help out whenever they can so I decided to tell a little white lie that I had unexpectedly got a meeting in London and that I couldn’t be there for the change over – would they mind handling it for me? My charms were gushing and it seemed to do the trick – no changeover for me!!

Later that day I got a call from the agent telling me all had gone well and the new tenant was in situ – delighted with the new property.

Fast forward 3 months….I get a vey irate tenant on the phone saying a debt collector had been to the door asking to speak to me – this sounds ominous….

I got the debt collectors mobile number and called him. He said he was chasing an outstanding electric bill for the sum of £527. I told him he must be mistaken, that the property was rented and that I was not liable for such a huge bill. He suggested I call the electric supplier.

After waiting nearly 15 minutes to be put through to the right department the lady explained it was for a period of 10 days when the property was empty between tenancies – £500 for 10 days she must be joking!!

I rang the agent to get the meter readings which looked fine and managed to speak to the old tenant and he gave me his readings too. They were a world apart – something wasn’t right.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands, jump in the car and check the meters for myself.
To cut a long story short – the letting agent had read the wrong meter – he’d read next doors instead!!

After what seemed like an eternity calling the electric company to explain the mistake the matter eventually got resolved – I owed the princely sum of £3.78

MORALE: Don’t be lazy – save yourself time and money by taking some responsibility for your properties. Don’t just pay someone to do it all for you – remember they don’t always have your best interests at heart