Piggybank News

April 23, 2015

Heat Network Regulations impose new duties on landlords of HMO’s

Filed under: Property — nspresources @ 9:13 am

An “interesting” new regulation affecting landlords and tenants of HMO’s – residential property which is shared by 3 or more separate tenants (ie not a single family) – takes effect on 30/12/2015.

This legislation seems so far to have largely gone unnoticed in the property media and yet contains some significant implications for how landlords run such properties and the charges tenants are asked to pay for heating. The common system of dividing the cost of supplying heating, hot water etc.by the number of tenants and charging them a share each will become a criminal offence following the introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.  This will apply even if the majority of the bill is paid by the landlord, as part of an inclusive rent, and a “fair use” policy is in place which means tenants may get charged top up amounts.

In some cases landlords will be required to fit separate meters to each unit of accomodation but for the most part this is unlikely to be cost-effective or technically feasible; in which case notification of the property details and a detailed breakdown of the costs can be submitted to the NMRO instead.

The Guild of Residential Landlords has published an excellent article containing full details of this. http://www.landlordsguild.com/how-to-comply-with-the-heat-network-regulations/

A landlord must submit notification to the NMRO regarding details about the heating system of the property by 31st December 2015, and if required, install individual meters by 1 April 2016.

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