The majority of landlords and agents are having to foot the bill of tenant’s utility bills, if tenants exceed their capped usage limits, according to Mistoria Estate Agents.
Tenants that exceed the utility cap limits because the usage is not monitored effectively can lead to extensive over use and a potentially large bill for the landlord or agent to cover.
As Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group commented:
“Our letting agency experienced an unfortunate situation last year, when tenants had over used their electricity and gas by more than 50%. The outsourced utility management company was quick enough to pass on this liability to our letting agency.
“Because the outsourced firm failed to take regular gas and electricity meter readings and advise our letting agency on a regular basis that the tenant was exceeding their allowance, it prevented adjustments being made to the monthly payments to cover the extra usage. In this case, the letting agency was unable to recover the usage from the tenants.
“I am sure that this case is not isolated and I urge all HMO landlords and agents to ensure that their utilities are being monitored, so they avoid excesses like this and protect themselves from losing money.
“Managing HMOs can be very time consuming and with all the admin work, it is no surprise that so many agents and landlords outsource the management of their utilities. It is vital then that the right utility partner is selected.
“As HMO landlords and letting agents with over 100 years of combined experience, we decided to set up Mistoria Utilities, to provide a one stop solution for HMO landlords and letting agents, which not only manages all utilities, but also TV licenses, council tax and HMO and selective licenses.”
Mistoria Utilities works with a range of suppliers and has access to some of the lowest tariffs in the UK, so it can offer both landlords and tenants affordable monthly plans. The firm presents just one single bill to tenants covering gas, electricity, co and broadband and all the costs are capped. It also manages, council tax and both HMO and selective licenses and also provides landlords and agents the opportunity to earn introductory commissions.
This article first appeared on Property Reporter on 1st October 2014.