Does your rent include bills?
You trust them to provide a safe place for you to live, but not all landlords are quite as honest as you’d like them to be. In some cases, landlords haven’t got their tenants’ best interests in mind.
Dishonest landlords can be guilty of tampering with energy meters to try and scam tenants out of some money – and it’s a growing problem. The red flag? Bills being included in the price of the rent.
How to spot a meter cheater
Just because your rent includes the price of the bills doesn’t mean your landlord is up to no good. However, if this fact is combined with several other worrying signs, it could be worth speaking up and reporting your suspicions.
1. Does your rent include bills?
This could be a sign of wrongdoing. Landlords who include bills in the price of the rent sometimes fiddle with the meters to reduce the price of the energy they use. This means they can increase the amount of rent they charge the tenants, but actually pocket the rest.
How do you know if you’re being cheated? More often than not, you can’t. But there are certain signs you can look out for if you’re suspicious.
2. Check your meters regularly
If you have access to your meters, check them for any unusual signs. Can you see any rubber piping or extra wires? Are the dials not moving or back to front? Can you smell burning or gas?
Any of these things could be a sign of meter cheating – and could be putting your life at risk. Don’t try to touch anything as it may be dangerous. Instead, you should report what you see to stayenergysafe right away. The quicker you report, the quicker stayenergysafe can intervene and potentially save a dangerous situation.
You can find more information on how to spot the signs here.
3. Are they locked away?
Are your meters hidden behind a locked door? Have you been refused access to see your meter at any point? This could be a sign that something isn’t right. If your landlord is trying to hide them from you, it could be because the signs of meter tampering are very evident. If that’s the case, not only are you being cheated of your money, but tampered meters could be extremely dangerous.
Don’t let crooked landlords get away with dodgy behaviour. It’s your right to be provided with a safe place to live, and to know exactly what you’re paying for. It’s easy, quick and completely anonymous to report your concerns to stayenergysafe. If you have any doubts, don’t delay reporting until it’s too late.Electricity TheftGas Theft
Meter cheating means tampering with the meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or trying to bypass the meter completely.