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Heating costs in HMO

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Author Topic: Heating costs in HMO  (Read 43 times)
Posts: 1

I like property

« on: January 14, 2022, 01:37:24 PM »

As the landlord I pay the electric & gas costs for my HMO. The tenancy agreement states 'for reasonable use'. How do you clarify what is reasonable use? My tenants want the heating and water on 24/7 and when I've visited it's been set at around 25 degrees. I've suggested what I believe to be reasonable temperature for day and night but clearly have no authority to set limits on temperature or timings. My fear is that because they do not pay the bills they don't either know or care how much it costs. Yes I could put up the rent but that won't reduce their impact on climate change.
With the rise in utility costs and thinking of the bigger picture (saving the planet) are there any suggestions as to how I can 'encourage' more conservative use?
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Hero Member
Posts: 4353

Abuse Officer

« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2022, 06:09:33 PM »

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Ah, this really made me chuckle. Thank you for a giggle. If you want to save the planet I'd be investing into some serious energy saving measures throughout the house - including walls, roofs, solar panels, ground source heat pump, mini wind turbines. These are all great... but costly... but anyone with principles like this would easily be able to rationalise that in their mind. However... if the main is really (could it be?) your expenses and your own fear that energy costs are about to skyrocket like we've probably not seen before... you are dead right that there is - literally - no way to define and bound a term like "reasonable". It's not possible. You have to deal in absolutes.

So... if your population is peripatetic in nature, I would be altering the contract whenever I got a chance. To change "reasonable" to something more specific - but even that will be a moving feast throughout 2020 I do feel. Or - and I think this could be challenging - get the bill assigned to the Tenants (somehow, maybe a lead? possibly impossible) or... final thought... when the time is right get the contract changed so that you pass on the bill and all occupants decide amongst themselves how to apportion it out. All of this is fraught with real risk. I don't claim it's at all easy... and it's just another reason for Landlords to not be into the HMO game... but, obviously the amazing profits you've made can absorb this.

Your fear of them "not knowing or not caring" is exactly right. But, then, why would they or why should they? Your setup is more like a hotel than a house, right? And if you have a 15 minute boiling-hot shower in a hotel instead of a 5 minute shower... well, you paid for it, after all? You ain't gonna get charged more as you check out. Good luck.
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