Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth tenants are stealing electricity

🙋  Landlords Question: 

I’m hoping you can offer some advice as  I found out that one of my tenants was stealing electricity and I don’t know what to do about it.

The rent has always been paid on time, both tenants work full time and  last year I seem to remember them taking two foreign holidays. They have lived in the property two years with no issues until recently when the tenant complained the cooker was not working.

On examination  from  a well trusted contractor  it came to light about the rewiring. I haven’t let the tenant know that I am aware of what’s been going on.

We have made the utility company aware and they are looking into the situation.  Since the Grenfell Tower incident  I’m worried about the dangerous rewiring and the fact that a tenant of mine was so brazen in doing this.

Am I liable for any of the stolen electricity.?


Electricity Theft
Electricity Theft


Lorraine’s Answer:

Hi Zoe, Its very common for tenants to bypass, or substitute meters. Prepay meters are the most popular to bypass.

I’m assuming that all bills are in the tenants names, if so, any stolen electricity you will not be liable for, so that’s some good news.

Many offenders see stealing utility supplies as a victimless crime, in much the same way as shoplifters do – it’s a big company so what’s the harm, they can afford it, or look at the profit they make! Do the offenders not realise they have an impact on honest consumers receiving higher bills, let alone the dangers of what they are doing.

My advice if you have not done so already,  check that the other utilities have not been tampered with. Serve notice on the tenants and find new tenants who will not put themselves or your property at risk.

Good Luck.