Am I entitled to see the meter?

I live in a flat and was told to text the company that manages the building to obtain a meter reading (readings are sent to me via text - no photos.) I’m not allowed to access where the electricity meters are for “health and safety” and I have not been provided a key. Am I entitled to see the meter? Is it legal to prevent access in this way?

I live in a flat and was told to text the company that manages the building to obtain a meter reading (readings are sent to me via text - no photos.) I’m not allowed to access where the electricity meters are for “health and safety” and I have not been provided a key. Am I entitled to see the meter? Is it legal to prevent access in this way?

A discussion on this aspect also took place on this forum in December 2017, details via this link: https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/2433/access-to-my-meter-as-a-tenant

As per the previous discussion, you should have physical access to your gas meter and shutoff, and you should at least be able to arrange a time to go and personally look at your electricity meter as well if you want to (for reading verification purposes). The building management should not stop you from ever seeing your electricity meter but it may not be unreasonable for them to want to escort you to see it.

If the area in which the meters are located is not suitable for you to go into while being escorted then it’s not a suitable position for the meters. There are regulations regarding that too (to ensure the health and safety of network engineers and meter readers).

This is an interesting issue, most have access to meters in their own home (rented or owned). There is no specific legislation stating that a tenant has the right to access or view energy supply meters, especially if the landlord either charges you for the supply of energy.

There could be rights included in a tenants lease, obviously that will be subject to individual circumstances. The other issue would be jurisdiction, which part of the UK the tenant reside in,as there is obviously 3 distinct legal systems within the UK, Scottish , Northern Irish and English & Welsh jurisdictions, which may have very different rights about property rights, and those extensions of fixtures and fittings. Generally, unless the area is excluded from your lease, then you do have right to access all the property and any common areas (stairwells, attics, shared gardens, basements, etc.) within the property. you might be able to argue a breach of the tenancy if access to the area is denied while included in the tenancy. I have seen in many private tenancy that the meters are the responsibility of the tenant, which would mean the right is conferred to the tenant and access.

Health and safety cannot be used as an excuse to refuse, as H&S legislation does not apply to domestic dwellings and the H&S issues about gas supply is dictated in the The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994.

In all jurisdictions common law property rules will dictate that property must be in a sate of repair that anyone can access & use the property safely whether a tenant/owner or not, again that excuse cannot be used if it is unsafe, as it should be safe.

Data Protection Laws cannot be used as it only is subject to data/information stored in an organised filing system, thus the meters them self are excluded from this definition.

Raising litigation and asking the court to gain access to be able to verify the evidence before advancing proceedings, depending on which jurisdiction a tenant is in to which rules and procedures are applicable, but, then again these can be complicated and costly.

Consumer law you might be able to gain access to be able to inspect a product and/or service being provided, and a company restricting that right to access to inspect could be in breach of such laws.

Expanding on the above consumer law, there is delictual laws (tort in England) of interference with contract and interference to cause injury, where one party does something to stop you performing or excising rights under a contract, in this case access to inspect equipment for the supply of energy, and restricting the right of conferred within the lease.

The above are some thoughts for you to asses against your own circumstances. There is no reason for restricting access to other parts of property as it all should be safe and typically likely you have rights to access under your lease.

I live in a flat and was told to text the company that manages the building to obtain a meter reading (readings are sent to me via text - no photos.) I’m not allowed to access where the electricity meters are for “health and safety” and I have not been provided a key. Am I entitled to see the meter? Is it legal to prevent access in this way?

A similar sort of query was discussed on this forum a year ago, please see https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/2433/access-to-my-meter-as-a-tenant