After years of dealing with coin operated prepayment machines, which tenants used as their own savings and loan boxes, with the loan never being repaid or the general security being a problem from self-made coins being inserted to changing the settings to allow a years supply of electric for a tenner, manufacturers then went onto prepayment card machines, which included paper cards, plastic top up cards and preloaded cards.
These also posed a challenge, when unscrupulous individuals, and dare I say ex/current landlords, decided to make a quick buck on the side by selling the prepayment cards to any willing tenant. Why is this a problem you ask? Well most of the cards have nothing on them, the only thing they do is activate what has been programmed into the physical card machine. The landlord would decide how much he would sell the cards for and then set up the machines accordingly. When rogue landlords decide to sell their surplus stock to other people’s tenants, they are in effect committing fraud. As the amounts involved are miniscule, the police in general do not have the time or manpower to investigate, but if you think a rogue might have 1000 cards selling them for £5 each, it all adds up. Meanwhile honest landlords lose money on a monthly basis.
What makes it different from the one or two others out there you ask? Whilst other metering companies offer the units really cheap or free, you are then locked into a specific utility company with set tariffs, causing your tenants to ultimately pay for the “free” units, a couple of times over. Doesn’t make you – the landlord – look like the honest chap you were hoping to portray.
Smartlink45 doesn’t dictate who to use and which tariff to stick to, the company supplies the equipment to you, which you install and all requested charges are forwarded to Meters UK, who then upload the settings and once live, your tenants can upload money. To credit your meter is literally as easy as topping up your phone. Go onto the website, put in your unique meter number, enter payment details and Voila! Done! Within 20 minutes your payment is confirmed and the Smartlink meter is credited with the amount paid.
At the end of each calendar month, all monies are totalled and paid to you, the landlord. Each tenant can see what they have paid and can top up 24/7, meaning you don’t need to have a management company doing it for you, you are guaranteed of your money every month and you will not be landed with any unexpected bills once the tenants have moved out. If they don’t pay, the utilities are switched off. Except water of course, we need them to stay clean and hydrated. As the landlord you will have full access to all your tenants’ meters online. You can see how much they are using and credit balance of each meter. For landlords with a larger portfolio, all files can be downloaded in .csv file format, allowing for easy transfer to other programmes.
Ok, so you buy the package, you have this online access 24/7/365, you get your money on a monthly basis, you can see exactly what your tenants have paid, so what’s the catch? Not really a catch just a daily fee, which gives you access to all the online information, which is updated on a daily basis. This requires a daily charge which equates to £7.50 per month, for one utility. This amount works out to .25p per day and is deducted from your tenant’s credit balance every day. At the end of the month, all the money paid to each meter is totalled, the standing charge deducted and the balance (utilities) paid into your bank account.
The system is nice to look at, easy to install and once set up, works like a charm. Utilities can range from one, up to all three (water, gas & electric) and each is programmed to their own specific tariff rate. The system also allows for meter reading only, which is perfect for hospitals and councils. There are lots of video’s and marketing material on their website so information is in abundance and staff are able to answer any questions you may have.
Current users seem pleasantly surprised and enjoy the freedom and versatility the system allows as well as guaranteed monies at the end of the month.
For more infomation, visit – https://meters.co.uk/smartlink45/